Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • adj. Informal Other. Usually used in the phrase a whole nother, as in the sentence That's a whole nother story.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • pro. Neither.
  • adj. Neither.
  • adv. Nor.
  • pro. Another.
  • adj. Different, other. (Now usually in a whole nother)

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • adj. Other; -- variant spelling used mostly in the phrase a whole nother (i. e., a completely different), as though formed by splitting the word “another”.
  • conj. Neither; nor.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • Same as neither.

Etymologies

From alteration of another (interpreted as a nother).
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
Old English nōhwæþer. Compare neither, nauther. (Wiktionary)
Variant of other, showing metanalysis. (Wiktionary)

Examples

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Comments

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  • Oh, that's good! Perhaps I should reconsider all of my cranky judgements.

    June 14, 2007

  • According to dictionary.com, it's a parallel symbolic mathematics system. But I doubt they know that. ;-)

    June 14, 2007

  • Yes it sounds like "a nother," but when one hears oneself referring to this thing called a "nother," what does the person believe a "nother" to be?

    June 14, 2007

  • True, of course, though one could argue that another is pronounced more like a nother than an other, due to the emphasis on the second syllable instead of the first. Doesn't make it right, but I can see where the mistake comes from.

    June 14, 2007

  • Exactly, Uselessness, but the "n" should have been awarded to the "a" in the divorce settlement. "An whole other story," while infelicitous, would make sense. Do you think I have standing to petition the court to restore that n to its rightful owner?

    This has annoyed me for the last twenty years or so because of what it reveals about people's insensitivity to the language they speak--is it not obvious that "another" means "an other?" I once mentioned this to a well educated friend who prided herself on grammatical correctness, and she saw nothing wrong with it!

    I know, I know, this is one of the ways language evolves--it is every bit as messy as making sausage or legislation. Furthermore, perhaps I should dig a little deeper in my psyche to understand why I have carried arround a grievence over a word for twenty years. That, however, is a horse of a nother feather.

    I will continue to take comfort in the word metanalysis. It is nice that everything has a name. I suppose that if I want to be a real purist, I should eschew the word nickname. I do not want to be a real purist.

    June 14, 2007

  • Funny usage out of the mouth of a babe (years ago--he will be married in a week) He nearly fell from a slide. After she caught him his mother said "Oh, Worth, you lost your balance." He pondered that for a day, then sidled up to his uncle and announced glumly "I have no balance. I lost my balance."

    June 14, 2007

  • Being hayve--that is funny. I had to stare at it a bit before I groked it (or is it "grokked."

    How about using the adjective "becoming" as an adverb, as in "That looks becoming on you" rather than "That is becoming to you" Ouch. It hurts my sensibilities.

    June 14, 2007

  • Much like kids who say they are "being hayve." :-)

    June 14, 2007

  • "That's a whole nother story."
    A corruption of the word another, where a is an article and nother has been divorced from it to become an adjective. Separate the two with a modifier and the deconstruction is complete.

    June 14, 2007

  • It may be metanalysis but it still gives me the heebie jeebies

    June 14, 2007