Of unknown etymology. The second element might be related to the Irish for "fire", or it might not. The OED of 1887 finished up its etymology with this pungent and Rabelaisian criticism, words I fear will not make it through when it's revised for the third edition:
The rubbish about Baal, Bel, Belus, imported into the word from the Old Testament and classical antiquity, is outside the scope of scientific etymology.
The vagaries of attestation. The 2nd edition OED has a line from Love's Labour's Lost, dated 1588, as its first use: 'Once more Ile read the Ode that I haue writ'. Then follows a 1589 quotation from Puttenham.
The 3rd edition has corrected the L.L.L. date to 1598, thus making Puttenham an antedate. (And it notes the 1598 spelling was Odo, changed to Ode in the First Folio.) It now also has a 1579 quotation from Spenser, plus a 1538 dictionary entry—which shouldn't really count, as it's not a use.
What on earth did you think they put in them? Prime cuts of delicious free-range, organic, rare breed, heritage beef, grass-fed, Eton-educated, humanely slaughtered, dry-aged and hand-ground by fairies with a pinch of pink Murray River salt and a twist of black pepper?
—Giles Coren in The Times, on the discovery of horsemeat, or indeed any meat, in Tesco Everyday Value Burgers
I should say, sometimes there’s a distinction made between languist and linguist. A languist is somebody who can speak a lot of languages. A linguist is somebody who is interested in the nature of language.—from an interview with Chomsky. And a word I'd never heard of till now.
True dat. A lesser-known but equally interesting fact is that ancient Macrobia was named for its diet. The royal family having been particularly impressed by the fare at a macrobiotic restaurant they had patronized, they granted it a royal warrant, ordered that all their subjects should eat macrobiotic, and changed the kingdom's name to Macrobia. The country lasted until it was swallowed up by a coalition of neighbouring kingdoms Vegetaria, Atkinsia, and Eggandbeansia.
According to Investopedia, unitranche debt is: A type of debt that combines senior and subordinated debt into one debt instrument; it is usually used to facilitate a leveraged buyout. Whatever that means. And it's all over the Interthingummy, so why hasn't it appeared here before?
A computing term I've never encountered before: looking through the code and eliminating things that are never used.
The problem is that two 'definitions' found on the Internet are mutually inconsistent. That's got nothing to do with what a clade is. Clades are defined by descent; there's no actual need for any two members of a clade to share any particular inheritance. A clade is a species together with all its descendants.
'Niche market', however, doesn't show what part of speech it is. It is natural to suppose 'niche' is a noun in that phrase (as in 'stock market', 'bear market'). It is the ability to be modified by adverbs that shows it has (for some people) become a noun.
There's at least one French/English pair of surnames: Boileau = Drinkwater. Then there are the Rabelaisian names that get translated with the same structure: Baisecul = Kissebreech. Do-nothing is a translation of the old French fainéant kings.
[José Carlos Meirelles] is a "sertanista" – the name given to a select few people who scour the Amazon jungle is search of isolated peoples and then set up a remote outpost to monitor and protect them from contact with "civilisation". —Al Jazeera, 24 June 2008
Actually the pronouns mine and thine do, but kine doesn't. The -ine is the Germanic form of the adjective ending more familiar from Latin-derived equine, porcine, etc. Greek also had it*; crystalline is the only English inheritance of this that I can recall.
Kine on the other hand is a double plural: first by umlaut alone, [ku:] becoming [ky:], then picking up the -n plural.
* Hm, apparently the -i- was short here, so perhaps not the same ending after all.
Trium (genitive as in trium virorum) does seem to be an error that has crept in. Older books pretty consistently favour trinum. (Tritium in Google Books is a scanning error for italic trinum.) One source gives ternarium, which would I suppose be synonymous, as in the adverbs trini/terni. Annoyingly, Perseus is now filtered at work so I can't do the proper checking.
It's not plurale tantum, as it readily occurs as both singular and plural in syntax; however, the two forms are the same, like sheep and aircraft.
This problem hadn't occurred to me before, but I agree in theory that singular species's is possible. However, we use apostrophe-only with certain singular words, such as classical names ending in multiple sibilants: Xerxes', Rameses', Jesus'. It's the difficulty of pronouncing the extra syllable that recommends the apostrophe-only, as it would in the narcissus' petals.
Previously almost invariably transitive; since 1960 however the construction 'befitting of' has greatly increased in popularity. Although Google Books still has it as only minute in numbers by 2000, today's Web shows it coming on very strong.
This is the first comment I have made here using information from the Ngram Viewer.
Jan 25, 2011
Comments for qroqqa
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Thanks for your suggestion (a week and a half ago!) regarding my question about how to refer the "singular" of a pluralis tantem. I think I understand the notion of a "bound base", but I am not sure that applies to units like *scissor, *hijink, and *trouser, since the -s in the pluralis tantum is not really an affix in the way that dis- is in discombobulate, but a grammatical ending (or perhaps this distinction is irrelevant?). In other words, when we remove the ending from scissors, we still have a hypothetical noun that acts like real nouns in certain ways, notably, it can serve as a verb ("She scissored her way through the crowd") or a modifier ("The scissor pieces lay on the table, waiting to be assembled"). Would lexeme work in such cases?
Hi, Qroqqa! I am looking for a way to refer to the hypothetical singular form of a pluralis tantem, e.g. *scissor, *underpant, *hijink. Are these lexemes? I figured that you would be the Wordie to ask about this.
qroqqa, thank you for your help on the braggadocio recipe. Can I just ask you to use a narrower definition of "English word"? Risotto and espresso are Italian, Morocco is a country, and Lobelia is borrowed from the scientific name. I can't believe no wasn't there yet! Thank you!