qroqqa commented on the word Hunless
'Hunless adj. colloq. (derogatory and offensive) rare devoid of Germans.—first line of entry from OED, worth quoting for its pile-up of qualifications
July 7, 2015
qroqqa commented on the word Papaver
The etymology given above from Wiktionary contains a misunderstanding. Linnaeus didn't name it after anything; he just used the ordinary Latin word papaver "poppy". It is debatable what this papaver came from. The Wiktionary etymology is apparently imagining a connexion (deep in time) with "pap".
July 1, 2015
qroqqa commented on the list animal-identity-crisis
June 24, 2015
qroqqa commented on the word ambiregnal
In two kingdoms (of life): referring to a taxon that was traditionally classified partly by the animal people and partly by the plant people, because some of them photosynthesized and others didn't*, from the bad old days when people classified all microorganisms as either protozoa or algae. An example is the euglenids, now recognized as a monophyletic clade of excavates. For more see TOLWEB on Euglenida.
* that's some of the organisms classified, not some of the people
June 18, 2015
qroqqa commented on the word myzocytosis
A feeding habit of certain microorganisms, when they take a molecular tin-opener to some other microorganism's cell membrane and suck the contents out.
qroqqa commented on the word bacterivory
The eating of bacteria. The eater is a bacterivore and is therefore bacterivorous, all good words. Some euglenids live by bacterivory. For more see TOLWEB on Euglenida.
qroqqa commented on the word eukaryovory
The eating of eukaryotes, usually microeukaryotes. The eater is a eukaryovore and is therefore eukaryovorous, all good words. Some euglenids live by eukaryovory. For more see TOLWEB on Euglenida.
qroqqa commented on the word apoptopodia
Formation of beaded, string-like structures by the expulsion of molecules from a cell during apoptosis. Also 'beaded apoptopodia', or in full 'apoptotic long-beaded apoptopodia'. Discovered recently at La Trobe.
June 16, 2015
qroqqa commented on the word hypogene
One of the dictionaries cited here defines 'hypogene' as 'netherformed', a word with no entry at all, not even from that dictionary. I wonder if the other 24 people who looked it up before me were led to it by the same curiosity.
qroqqa commented on the word epibenthic
Thus was the abyssal benthos discovered, the community of organisms living on or close to the ocean floor. In the 1960s a major advance was made by the introduction of the epibenthic sled, which rakes the top layer of the floor with fine mesh nets and traps the residue with a closing door to prevent the winnowing and loss of smaller organisms.
—Edward O. Wilson, The Diversity of Life
June 15, 2015
qroqqa commented on the word species flock
The Victoria cichlids fall in the special category of adaptive radiation called species flocks: they comprise relatively numerous species of immediate common ancestry and are limited to a single well-isolated area such as a lake, river basin, island, or mountain range. The chief theoretical puzzle created by species flocks is the process by which they grow. How can populations split repeatedly into species within a closed habitat that has no geographical barriers?—Edward O. Wilson, The Diversity of Life
qroqqa commented on the word aeolian plankton
Ballooning spiders are members of what ecologists, with the accidental felicity that sometimes pops out of Greek and Latin sources, have delightfully called the aeolian plankton. . . . The creatures composing the aeolian plankton are devoted almost entirely to long-distance dispersal.—Edward O. Wilson, The Diversity of Life
qroqqa commented on the word metaformula
No one has learned how to invent with any consistent success the equations and phrases of science, no one has captured the metaformula of scientific research.—Edward O. Wilson, The Diversity of Life
qroqqa commented on the word morphocline
Comparable morphoclines—series of species arrayed from the most generalized to the most specialized—occur among the cichlid algal feeders and predators on other fish.—Edward O. Wilson, The Diversity of Life
qroqqa commented on the list oar-shaped
I like an ambitious list.
May 1, 2015
qroqqa commented on the word kelvin
They're not kelvin, they're kelvins, if there are thousands of them.
April 28, 2015
qroqqa commented on the list a-silent-letter-radio-alphabet-to-annoy-call-centre-staff
ctenophore, cnidarian, knee, Eamonn
qroqqa commented on the word peribothron
The closest approach to a black hole. From Greek bothros "hole". Coined by Sterl Phinney of Caltech.
March 26, 2015
qroqqa commented on the word deoffshorisation
Okay, stupid (and rhetorical) question, it's been a while, how do I list a word I just looked up? I want a list button or a list of lists, and I can't see either. (I have a List button that takes me to a list of lists containing it, but as none contain it yet, this is an exercise in frustration and circularity.)
(Later. Boy, was that difficult. And the next question is, how come it's been listed once, commented on once, and favourited once, when I'm the only person who knows about it so far, and I didn't favourite it? Or are there other mysterious buttons lurking in the undergrowth? Grrr . . . goes to look . . .)
January 26, 2015
qroqqa commented on the word fa**ot
Early attempts at atomic bombs faced the problem that the uranium was so heavy it dropped out; this problem was called fallot. The remaining bomb would trigger, but exploded like a firework into a few fitful stars, leaving fa**ot.
December 4, 2014
qroqqa commented on the word slimskin
An emaciated sea-elephant.I like two facts about this: (i) English has a word for an emaciated sea-elephant; and (ii) the people who thought it was a good product name didn't consult the OED.
November 4, 2014
qroqqa commented on the word Feance
Also related of course are finance (from the infixed present stem), flense ("taking your cut"), fleece (taking someone else's cut), please (what you say when you do: Grimm's Law applies), police (who they get when you do: epenthesis commonly trails in the wake of Grimm), pulse (which goes up when they chase you: compensatory loss of segment), purse (how could you miss this one?), and pence (in the purse – and here we are back at Grimm's Law, or Crim's Law as it's now known).
October 2, 2014
qroqqa commented on the word patootie
Don't write off to the OED with a 1909 antedating, though: it's 1923. The Google Books top date is wrong. If you scan for various years in it you find current events of 1922 and January 1923, and a scheduled event in September 1923 is a long way off.
September 23, 2014
qroqqa commented on the word petuti
This just screams folk etymology. A search on Google and Google Books for "my petuti" and "horse's petuti" show the spelling 'petuti' only goes back to about 2002. "Horse's patootie" can be found in Don Ryan's 1930 novel A Roman Holiday (a considerable antedating to the OED's 1959 in this sense).It is not clear how we get from the slightly earlier "hot patootie" and "sweet patootie" to a buttockial* patootie, but petunias don't seem to be involved.* there must be a better word than that. Natal?
September 22, 2014
qroqqa commented on the word lunula
If looking at the moon you're me,Inspired to rhyme, soon you seeThere's a need for defendingThe long vowels endingBorrowed words like 'lunulae'.
August 28, 2014
qroqqa commented on the word triumelephantly
Loopin held up the camera triumelephantly.—My Immortal
July 25, 2014
qroqqa commented on the word hotrus siccus
When I coin a word,However absurd,The letters are sequential,And that is referential:No typo occurred.
July 9, 2014
hotrus? A good word, a perfectly cormulent word in fact, but not the Latin for garden.
July 8, 2014
qroqqa commented on the word bridgmanite
A silicate perovskite that is the most abundant mineral in the lower mantle, and therefore apparently in the Earth: newly named in honour of physicist Percy Bridgman.‐Our planet's most abundant mineral now has a name on phys.org, 18 June 2014
June 19, 2014
qroqqa commented on the word fignify
Of courfe they faid it. The examples in the right-hand column include a ftirring fermon by the late Reverend (and Pious) Samuel Davies, who afsures us:
But there are two words, which by a fynecdoche are often ufed in fcripture to fignify all his futferings of every kind, from firfl to laft; viz. liis blood and his crofs.
June 3, 2014
qroqqa commented on the word olkomania
Not olko- but oiko-, "home".
June 25, 2013
qroqqa commented on the word Crow
It is aided in this deception by being a master of disguise. The crow appears as a small, nondescript bird who passes unnoticed as it cases other birds' nests, selects a suitable one, and goes into labour, spurning epidurals and the machine that goes ping! in favour of a low-key delivery of its eggs, which typically come in clutches of six to eight. The gentes or tribes of crow are classified by the pattern of their egg: paisley, batik, or piñata.One crow in San Diego Zoo passed the last twelve years of its life as a peacock, and the deception was only discovered on autopsy.
June 6, 2013
qroqqa commented on the word codware
Put not youre handes in youre hosen youre codware for to clawe.—wise advice; source given by the OED as:a1475 J. Russell Bk. Nurture (Harl. 4011) in Babees Bk. (2002) i. 135
May 20, 2013
qroqqa commented on the word Beltane
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.
May 14, 2013
qroqqa commented on the word Umwelt
To break out of the circle of the Innenwelt into the Umwelt generates the inexhaustible quadrature of the ego's verifications.—Lacan
May 13, 2013
qroqqa commented on the word flourit
Possibly unrelated to the real word floruit, indicating when someone flourished, and used when their birth and death dates are not known.
May 7, 2013
qroqqa commented on the list nouns-first-attested-in-shakespeare
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.And why are my italic tags not coming out, eh?
April 26, 2013
qroqqa commented on the word competitive arousal
I bet I find it more arousing than you do.
March 20, 2013
qroqqa commented on the word completly
unfortunatly . . .
March 8, 2013
qroqqa commented on the word foward
The rest of us are all curious, nay agog, about when you use this supposed word.
March 6, 2013
qroqqa commented on the list my-god--its-full-of-stars
Cepheid variable, gravastar, MACHO
March 5, 2013
qroqqa commented on the word death sandwich
Informally dubbed by researchers the 'Genesis Death Sandwich', this pattern offers the first clear example of this common rhetorical structure being used in the text describing the creation of the universe.—New analysis of Genesis reveals 'death sandwich' literary theme, Phys.Org, 20 Feb. 2013
February 20, 2013
qroqqa commented on the word horsemeat
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
February 19, 2013
qroqqa commented on the word zblbl
Czech for "he became silly". Alternative form zblbnul. Masculine past participle of zblbnout "become silly", from blb "fool". Thus also zblbla "she became silly", zblbl jsem "I (m.) became silly" etc.
February 13, 2013
qroqqa commented on the word languist
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.
February 11, 2013
qroqqa commented on the word kast
(1) Also the actual Hobbitish word rendered in English by mathom.(2) Wordnik thinks this is an error for last and is supplying misinformation accordingly.
February 8, 2013
qroqqa commented on the word Fleur du Maquis
A Corsican ewe's milk cheese covered with rosemary, juniper berries, and chillis. *slurp*
qroqqa commented on the word macrobian
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.
qroqqa commented on the word unitranche
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?
qroqqa commented on the word tree-shaking
October 18, 2012
qroqqa commented on the word clade
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.
November 21, 2011
qroqqa commented on the word niche
'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.
November 14, 2011
qroqqa commented on the word head-first
According to the new reverse dictionary thingy, the definition of this word contains the word 'columbium'.
June 22, 2011
qroqqa commented on the word flerovium
This name was once briefly suggested for nobelium, which may be enough to scupper it with the IUPAC.
qroqqa commented on the list killjoy-et-al
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.
June 16, 2011
qroqqa commented on the word fickfack
What a silly word. Isn't this what we standard English speakers call the paxwax? And q.v. for alternatives: 'Also called paxywaxy, packwax, faxwax, fixfax, and whit-leather.' I bet that last one is made up.
June 14, 2011
qroqqa commented on the word work related upper limb disorder
Apparently another new term for RSI and its little friends.
June 10, 2011
qroqqa commented on the list phonestheme--cr---or-kr
There are two, surely: an abrupt one in crash, crack, crunch, crumple, crinkle and a slow one in creep, crawl. I suppose creak, crumble could partake of both.Surprisingly, cranberry might be relatable to these after all, if its etymon crane has any kind of abrupt cry.
qroqqa commented on the word sertanista
[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
qroqqa commented on the word zero
Zero, a Word sometimes us'd especially among the French, for a Cipher or Nought (0).—Phillips's New World of Words, 1706
June 8, 2011
qroqqa commented on the word candid
'Candid' does not mean "white". It comes from a Latin word meaning "white" or "candid".
June 2, 2011
qroqqa commented on the word kine
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.
June 1, 2011
qroqqa commented on the word puerarchy
Plus archy, Latin for . . . oh, wait. So it'd be a paedarchy or tecnarchy then.
May 27, 2011
qroqqa commented on the word stupiphany
I read this on Wordnik yesterday, and didn't understand what oroboros had taken so long to tumble to. Wished oroboros had included a definition. Looked at it today . . .
May 26, 2011
qroqqa commented on the word omne trinum perfectum
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.
May 23, 2011
qroqqa commented on the word toward
I thought BrE was pretty neutral about all the other -ward(s) words, and was surprised to see how much 'forward' preponderates over 'forwards': about 10 in 1 in both Ngrams and the BNC.Examination of the BNC shows that much of this can be put down to common constructions like 'look forward to', 'put forward' (a proposal etc.), where only the one is possible.
May 20, 2011
The current AmE preferred form of 'towards', and has been since 1900, as illustrated strikingly on Google Ngram Viewer. Other -ward(s) words don't have anything like so dramatic a history.In BrE it's always been very much a minor variant, but it may have started to come into regular use in recent years.
May 19, 2011
qroqqa commented on the user kretenack
Full of termites and gradually falling into the large pit next door, but you won't have to worry too long, as it's in line for compulsory acquisition for a freeway next year.
May 16, 2011
qroqqa commented on the word unsigmatic
Not sigmatic, that is not formed with sigma: said of Greek aorists and futures. In the case of aorists also called second aorist.
May 3, 2011
qroqqa commented on the word bakkushan
From English back + German schön "beautiful", weirdly compounded in Japanese. As a (supposedly) foreign word it is written in katakana.
April 27, 2011
qroqqa commented on the word caw
Actually Maltese ċaw, pronounced basically the same as the Italian ciao, its origin.
qroqqa commented on the word kappatic
Formed with a kappa, in the Greek perfect tense. Compare the sigmatic aorist and future.
April 1, 2011
qroqqa commented on the word species
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.
March 30, 2011
qroqqa commented on the word harrassed
None of the below. ['hærəst], with the vowel of hat, not hair.
March 21, 2011
qroqqa commented on the word teratonym
-onym- "name", rather
qroqqa commented on the word Eden
Actually the Hebrew begins with the consonant `ayin.
March 4, 2011
qroqqa commented on the word demolishment
No occurrences in BNC (571 for demolition).
February 17, 2011
qroqqa commented on the word Schweinefleischpastete
A more impressive term than pork pie.
February 15, 2011
qroqqa commented on the word physiogamy
I wonder could it be unlisted because it's a misspelling of physiognomy? What relation -gamy "marriage" might have to the art of studying the face is unclear to this little black duck.
January 28, 2011
qroqqa commented on the list lost-for-word
Is it contrapposto you're after? That at least is close.
January 27, 2011
qroqqa commented on the word giviak
Whole auks stuffed into a seal carcass and left to ferment. (How can I be the first to even look this up?)
January 25, 2011
qroqqa commented on the word befitting
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.
qroqqa commented on the list more-than-one-z
zeroize and Zizzer-Zazzer-Zuzz
January 24, 2011
qroqqa commented on the word ghiorsium
It is sad that Albert Ghiorso died (26 Dec. 2010) without seeing an element officially named after him, as Glenn Seaborg saw seaborgium. Ghiorsium was informally proposed for ununoctium after its claimed discovery by Berkeley, but the claim had to be withdrawn after fraud was discovered.
qroqqa commented on the word aisle
Today's aisle/isle distinction is recent, and aisle owes its silent S to isle. Although ultimately from Latin ala "wing", the church word was from about 1600 confused with or merged with isle, and often so spelt. Some time in the 1700s the hybrid spelling aisle came into use, and seems to have become established by about 1800.In this same time period its use was extended from the side passages, the 'wings', to the central passage, the nave. Some complain that couples walking up the aisle are really walking up the nave, but the usage is long established now.
qroqqa commented on the word -gress
To give more detail, from -grad-s- in medial position; where the -s forms some perfects and supines. This assimilated to -grass- in the Old Latin period or earlier. In Old Latin stress was initial, and unstressed a before two consonants became e (so also non-initial morpheme -ject- from jac- "throw").
January 20, 2011
qroqqa commented on the word it
Not related to Latin id, despite the apparently obvious connexion via Grimm's Law. The Old English was hit, the h being lost in Middle English. This makes it related to he, both from a pre-Germanic *k- root (not as far as I know represented in Latin1). The neuter ending -t is however cognate with the -d of Latin id, quid, illud etc.1. Unless it's the deictic -c(e) of hic, sic.
qroqqa commented on the word extraposed subject
Term used in the CGEL for the clause that can be equated to a dummy subject 'it', e.g.It is a mistake to eat eclairs in bed.In most cases it might have been the subject instead: To eat eclairs in bed is a mistake.It has been extraposed from subject position to the end of the clause, after other complements. This distinguishes it from the displaced subject of a dummy 'there' clause, which is merely displaced past the verb: There are three men in the garden.
December 20, 2010
qroqqa commented on the word ruly
Unable to face the OED's new website, I'm going to guess that a noun 'unrule' is attested first (cf. extant 'misrule').
December 9, 2010
qroqqa commented on the word arsenic
Having read XKCD first, I didn't realize that arsenic-based life really has been discovered. It's a bacterium that can replace much of its phosphorus with arsenic. (via 3quarksdaily)
December 3, 2010
qroqqa commented on the word petuantly
Petulantly actually, unless Stephenie's proof-readers were the same parents who named her.
December 2, 2010
qroqqa commented on the word antiquest
Two different morphologies and pronunciations. I found a real example of its use somewhere, over the weekend. I wish I could remember where.
November 29, 2010
qroqqa commented on the word glaucous
Even in the side streets there was evidence of the new régime; twice they were obliged to shelter as police lorries thundered past them laden with glaucous prisoners.—Evelyn Waugh, Scoop
November 16, 2010
qroqqa commented on the word flyswatter
The difference is detectable. A voiceless consonant significantly shortens a preceding vowel, so the vowel of [aɪs] is shorter than that of [flaɪ]. The difference is retained in compounds.
November 8, 2010
qroqqa commented on the word a bout of estimations
A stern of ships, a light of fires, a jar of doorknobs, a maze of wonders, none of them count.
October 12, 2010
qroqqa commented on the word strategy
The reason this works is that the second player beats the first to whatever sequence the first chooses. If the first chose HTH, that begins HT, so any second-player strategy XHT has a 1 in 2 chance of winning one round before HTH comes up. (Rather than the naive 1 in 8 chance of waiting for one or the other triple to turn up.)You choose your X to make sure it's not symmetric: that the first player hasn't got the same advantage over your sequence. Their choice ends in TH, so you mustn't let yours begin with that. So choose HHT, not THT.
October 10, 2010
qroqqa commented on the list crash-blossoms
Real one, cos I saw it last night on a placard; possible a London local paper: Mental health cuts fears.
October 7, 2010
qroqqa commented on the word stained glass
The first recorded use of the term is from Mrs Radcliffe's Romance of the Forest (1791):Above the vast and magnificent portal of this gate arose a window of the same order, whose pointed arches still exhibited fragments of stained glass, once the pride of monkish devotion.This clearly can't be the first occurrence; but anyway, what did they call it for centuries before that?
qroqqa commented on the word ackersprit
A potatoe with roots at both ends.—A Northern word, from Grose's Provincial Glossary
October 5, 2010
qroqqa commented on the user zennyatta1
Gretna Green by piggyback, alternating. A roll or two of toilet paper for the bride's dress, and the groom could wallow in a pool of black mud and let it dry. Half a packet of Mr Kipling's Battenberg cakes on a knitting needle. Keep the crumbs to throw.
October 4, 2010
qroqqa commented on the word qaqqaqqaaq
I too am a red-throated loon when I've got a few sherbets inside me, and I want to pick a fight with this posing Inuit upstart. What a ridiculous-looking word.
October 2, 2010
qroqqa commented on the word thot plickens
'Thot plickens' has been looked up 71 times. I know who one of those is; I'm curious about the other seventy.
qroqqa commented on the word Ospendale
October 1, 2010
qroqqa commented on the word m-brane
The usual term, I thought, was p-brane for a p-dimensional brane.
September 30, 2010
qroqqa commented on the word jellied eels
Cold, dead, bony fish corpses in a grey jelly. I spat out my first mouthful and threw the rest away.
September 29, 2010
qroqqa commented on the word infestate
They infest its weak land;Fatten, hide slugs, infestate.—Jon Silkin, 'Dandelion'. The word is not in the OED.
September 28, 2010
qroqqa commented on the word inculcate
Also a surprising etymology, because of the vowel change. The Old Latin rule for unstressed vowels would give incelc- from calc-. Then the dark l rounds and backs and raises the vowel (as in the set velle, volo, vult).
qroqqa commented on the word gallium
It sounds more fun than the mercury we all played with as kids before we saw the shadow demonstration of the fumes rising up.
qroqqa commented on the word Pintupi
[< Warlpiri pintupi, probably < Pintupi pintupi, an impolite expletive.]—The OED's intriguing etymology. What expletive and how impolite? Enquiring minds want to know.
September 27, 2010
qroqqa commented on the word coca
A bank has provided a trade finance loan to the Ghana Coca Board, it says here. I wish I could leave that uncorrected.
September 24, 2010
qroqqa commented on the word quork
Oh, a queen can ork, yes, of course. A queen can ork at a king. Or a cow. If a cow strayed onto the field. You could probably set it up so that both queens are co-orkers.
September 18, 2010
Of course not. A bilby is not a quokka.This word seems the logical progression of a series denoting how many pieces a chess piece is attacking at once: quork, trork, bork, mork, and the harmless nork. More boards and new rules are required to achieve the higher-dimensional possibilities: hork, sork, ork, eeyork, and dork.
September 17, 2010
qroqqa commented on the word ლამაზია
Composed of lamazi "beautiful" + suffix -a "is" (equivalent to the full verb aris).
September 14, 2010
qroqqa commented on the word gvprtskvni
გვფრცქვნი - Georgian for "you are peeling us". The prefix gv- is the first person plural; I don't know how the rest divides.
September 7, 2010
qroqqa commented on the word დედა
deda: Georgian for "mother"
September 3, 2010
qroqqa commented on the word წყალი
ts'q'ali: Georgian for "water". The first vowel drops out when further inflectional vowels are added: ts'q'lebi "waters".
qroqqa commented on the word ძალიან
dzalian: Georgian for "very"
September 2, 2010
qroqqa commented on the word საქართველო
Sakartvelo: Georgian for "Georgia"
qroqqa commented on the word ათი
ati: Georgian for "ten". In the reduced form t- it is part of the numerals 11 to 19: for example, t-ert-met'i from ert-i "one".
qroqqa commented on the word in-and-in
Rickety dwellings of undoubted fashion, but of a capacity to hold nothing comfortably except a dismal smell, looked like the last result of the great mansions' breeding in-and-in; and, where their little supplementary bows and balconies were supported on thin iron columns, seemed to be scrofulously resting upon crutches.—Dickens, Little Dorrit, ch. 27
August 27, 2010
qroqqa commented on the word hatred
One of two words surviving in modern English with the abstract noun formative suffix -red, the other being kindred. This is not the same suffix as in hundred.
August 26, 2010
qroqqa commented on the word mollie
An often boisterous gathering of captains of whaling ships in the cabin of one of them.One of the more specialized words in English, I think. Etymology: the much more familiar mallemaroking.
qroqqa commented on the word coaster
The small protective object under a mug or the like gets its name via an earlier meaning (unknown to me but perhaps not obsolete everywhere): a tray for decanters, so that they can 'coast' or go round the table.
qroqqa commented on the word coast
The modern meanings of the noun and verb are not related in the obvious way. Latin costa meant "side" (including in particular "rib"), and originally in English as in French its descendant was applied to the sides of various things. In English the noun came to be practically restricted to the side of the sea, the sea-coast.One French meaning "hill-side" was adopted locally in North America for a snowy or icy slope that could be slid down on a sled, and the act of doing so. Though the verb 'coast' had previously meant various things related to the ordinary noun, such as "abut, border" or "travel round the shore", the verb now surviving derives from the act of sliding unpowered down a hill.
qroqqa commented on the word God-botherer
On the contrary; I would have thought a god-botherer was normally one who bothers other people, e.g. me, with their unwanted beliefs.
qroqqa commented on the word quaich
On the other side of the world,you pass the moon to me,like a loving cup,or a quaich.—Carol Ann Duffy, 'World'
August 20, 2010
qroqqa commented on the word filet
I don't think so. Rather, we use the word fillet, as in fillet of beef, where AmE uses or might use filet. In the one expression where we do definitely writefilet we pronounce it in French fashion, ˈfɪleɪ, namely filet mignon ˈfɪleɪ ˈmɪnjɒ~. There is a stress difference: BrE ˈfɪleɪ, AmE fɪˈleɪ.
August 18, 2010
qroqqa commented on the word moth
[Organization] has expertise in moth residential and commercial development.—text I'm proofing. 'Tis pity to change it.
August 12, 2010
Or exocentric verb-object compounds.
qroqqa commented on the word sideromancy
The Latin sidus, sider- is "star", but the Greek sidêr- is "iron". The genuinely Greek-derived word for divination by the stars would be 'astromancy'.
August 9, 2010
qroqqa commented on the word number on choice
The idiom that wasn't. I was all poised to google for "number on choice", thinking perhaps it was a number as in "a nice little number", and on reflection, on making or having a choice . . . when I realized it was all just a typo and a missing hyphen.
August 6, 2010
qroqqa commented on the word lunolatry
Lunolatry?? Who makes up these ridiculous words?
August 4, 2010
qroqqa commented on the word solarolatry
Same as heliolatry except very badly formed.
qroqqa commented on the word hammer price
In addition to the obvious use in auctioneering, this term is also used by the London Stock Exchange for 'the Exchange’s middle price (“the hammer price”) of the relevant securities immediately prior to the time at which the default was declared'.
July 30, 2010
qroqqa commented on the word stop and search
As a verb coordination, this string behaves normally: The police stopped and searched ten people. As a nominal however, it is a compound rather than a coordination: They performed ten stop and searches. (*'Stops and searches' just doesn't sound right.)
July 29, 2010
qroqqa commented on the word unled
In a legal context (rare): said of a junior barrister acting in a case on their own, that is not led by a QC.
Girl Scout beaver traps upset activists
July 23, 2010
qroqqa commented on the word assess
Impact assessment seems a perfectly normal kind of assessing. You can also study, evaluate, judge, or prepare for something that will came about in the future.
July 21, 2010
qroqqa commented on the word reiterate
Unlikely. 'Iterate' is only rarely used to mean "reiterate" (and many of the Google hits for "iterated that" are from Indian sites). In normal use 'iterate' and 'reiterate' have completely different meanings.
July 20, 2010
qroqqa commented on the word inunction
"Spray to inunction the partition slightly treat to fuck the empress to with the Beat to whet."—Victor Mair discusses this charming Chinglish at Language Log.
July 14, 2010
qroqqa commented on the list possible-typos-in-the-gnu-websters-1913
There's an uncorrected alphabetic copy at the ARTFL Project, so errors can be picked up by eye: spelling mistakes (most obviously, those out of alphabetic order), and tag errors for bold, italic, and indentation. The verb 'incase' is on Page 742, and subsequent pages show misspelt forms of 'incestuous' and 'incidental'. Slow going, but rich pickings.
July 13, 2010
qroqqa commented on the word incase
Some Web copies of Webster 1913 are based on a scanning with numerous errors. Other copies are from a better (or perhaps corrected) scanning; and one of those shows that the definition here originally belonged (i.e. in the 1913 print) to two-word 'in case'.
qroqqa commented on the word chagrin
I am disappointed to learn that 'chagrin' = "irritation" is now believed not to come from the Turkish for "horse's bum". I do hope the OED find the old story is true when they get round to revising C.
July 8, 2010
qroqqa commented on the user rosiegarron
qroqqa commented on the word even-blush
Or in some grassy lane unbosom allFrom even-blush to midnight—R. Browning, Paracelsus
July 7, 2010
qroqqa commented on the word departmental
Pronunciation oddity: the first syllable is long. You'd expect it to be short as in department, developmental. I thought this might be a recent development, but the OED only gives the pronunciation with i:.
qroqqa commented on the word grovel
Back-formation from grovelling.
July 2, 2010
qroqqa commented on the word grovelling
Origin of the word grovel, by back-formation. It was originally an adverb formed of an obsolete word meaning "prone position" (spellings ranging over gruff, groffe, grufe etc.) plus an adverb formative -ling related to the suffix of headlong, sidelong, along.
qroqqa commented on the word its
A newcomer to the pronoun system, only arising around 1600. It does not occur in the Authorized Version of the Bible, for example, which continues to use the transitional form thereof.
qroqqa commented on the word Leviathan
Newly-named extinct genus of whales, created for a 12 million year old fossil resembling a sperm whale with large teeth, Leviathan melvillei.—BBc science news, 1 July 2010
July 1, 2010
qroqqa commented on the user hbaker47
HI Mr Hector, we also too like natvie United States-speakers visit our website making the innocent friends interested in many things such as like dog poo, Ponzi schemes, being hauled off to jail, So keep listening to at the door.
June 30, 2010
qroqqa commented on the word chertrum
This is actually chhertum; a former spelling of it was chetrum.
June 29, 2010
qroqqa commented on the word for
... but he was not a pawn on any chessboard of Mr Penicuik's making; and, for he was a gamester, he would have forgone every penny of that considerable fortune rather than have obeyed such a summons as he had received.—Georgette Heyer, Cotillion, ch. 12A highly unusual instance of a phrase beginning with causal for preceding its main clause. It is probably only possible here (to the questionable extent that it is possible) because it's a supplement inside an expanded clause, namely and he would have forgone... We could perhaps insert this supplement at other non-initial points in the clause too:and he would, for he was a gamester, have forgone...That is, although it appears to wholly precede the non-expanded clause he would have forgone..., its appearance is actually licensed by its being embedded in a higher clause. Or is it? Could we, could Georgette Heyer, with no more than the same oddness or archaism of phrasing, place it initially in an independent sentence?For he was a gamester, he would have forgone...No, I don't think so. The embedded version rates a '?' from me, the initial one '*'. It's not at all grammatical in my dialect; Heyer's original is merely surprising and odd.The CGEL discusses various evidence about whether this causal for is a coordinator (like and, but, or, nor) or a preposition (like because, since), and comes down on the side of a preposition. (The traditional category 'conjunction' is not used by CGEL.)
June 23, 2010
qroqqa commented on the word departicipial
(Of a word) Created by conversion from a participle: for example, English prepositions such as according, concerning, given, including, seeing.
June 22, 2010
qroqqa commented on the word intuitive
I have just discovered a completely new construction. Faced with the clause 'The firm is intuitive to our needs', I thought first, 'That's not English', and second, 'How do we say that in English?' I then asked my respected colleague and she confirmed that it wasn't correct.But Google shows about 150 000 hits for "is intuitive to * needs", which are robust (they don't go away as you page through). I was about to accept it as a mere quirk that I'd never encountered this construction before. Then I added site:UK to the search. That brings it down to eight (8) hits, rather than the expected ten to fifteen thousand. No wonder I'd never heard it before.
June 15, 2010
qroqqa commented on the list x-s-y-where-x-is-somebody-s-name
Bartholomew's Day massacre and St Valentine's Day massacre are not examples: they are not X's Y, but X Y, with X and Y both nominals. The X in each case is internally Z's W, so the days themselves are candidates, like all other saints' days.
June 14, 2010
qroqqa commented on the word isabelle
The well-known story for the name of isabella is, however, chronological impossible, as the word was in use in 1600, before the Siege of Ostend:Item, one rounde gowne of Isabella-colour satten,..set with silver spangles
qroqqa commented on the word cor
Often? I can't imagine this being said in an accent that had [r] there.
June 11, 2010
qroqqa commented on the word beadle-mead
[The beadle's] rent is excused or lowered; he gets certain perquisites, such as a measure of seed-corn from time to time, or a piece of meadow (a beadle-mead) for himself, or a number of sheaves at the harvest.—H. S. Bennett, Life on the English Manor, Cambridge, 1960, p. 180
April 29, 2010
qroqqa commented on the word Keeling schedule
A schedule added to an amending Act, setting out the final form that an amended section will read as after the amendments have passed: useful where the amendments themselves are small, patchwork variations to the previous wording.Named after a Mr Keeling, who in 1938 asked a question in the House of Commons suggesting such a device. I got my explanation from Hansard of 13 Nov 2000.
April 23, 2010
qroqqa commented on the word instantiate
All the quotations in the OED second edition (1989) are from philosophy, going back to 1949.
April 9, 2010
qroqqa commented on the word capripede
A couple of capripede caryatids looked after the door and there was a coat of arms above it, a unicorn goring a knight.—Angela Carter, Nights at the Circus
March 31, 2010
qroqqa commented on the word Digitization
This is the preferred word worldwide over 'digitalization', by a factor of several to one, increasing to over ten to one on UK sites (there comparing -is- spellings).
March 18, 2010
qroqqa commented on the word National Grammar Day
Oh great. Grammar advice from someone who thinks you have to use 'whom' for an object. I am not even mildly curious what other ignorant garbage these idiots are propagating, but I am sad that they worked out how to line the crayons up to make a website.
March 4, 2010
qroqqa commented on the word rebar
'Hey, Crisis! You can snap rebar with your bare hands, right?''If it's made of styrofoam.'—Doonesbury. Crisis is a wrestler on USO tour in Afghanistan.
qroqqa commented on the word ei
Not "no" in Finnish, contrary to the previous comment. In Finnish negation is an inflected verb: en "I do not", emme "we do not", ei "he, she, or it does not", and so on.
February 28, 2010
qroqqa commented on the word vaginalatrous
Women are like banks, boy, breaking and entering is a serious business. Give me your word you're not vaginalatrous?—Joe Orton, Entertaining Mr Sloane, Act I
January 12, 2010
qroqqa commented on the word autocatalytically
If humans weren't using and refining language I would like to know what they were doing with their autocatalytically increasing brains—D. Falk, quoted in Jean Aitchison, 1996, The Seeds of Speech
qroqqa commented on the word thrid
They did not speak much more, but thridded their way through many a bosky dell, whose soft green influence could not charm away the shock and the pain in Margaret's heart, caused by the recital of such cruelty; a recital too, the manner of which betrayed such utter want of imagination, and therefore of any sympathy with the suffering animal.—Mrs Gaskell, North and South
November 23, 2009
qroqqa commented on the word ĳ
There are various cross-relating conditions here. Does Dutch ij get alphabetized as a separate letter, after iz? This is how Welsh and (until recently) Spanish treated their digraphs. Did Croatian keep its nj and lj on a single piece of lead type? (Did Spanish and Welsh?) The most unusual feature of ij is its capitalization. Apparently CHamorro optionally does this: the digraph ch is capitalized as either Ch or CH.
October 21, 2009
There must be some better technical term for this, since it's not actually a ligature, but I don't know what it is. Compound letter? The capital form of ĳ is Ĳ, as in the Ĳsselmeer. (Unicode calls it a ligature, I see, but that doesn't make it one.)
October 20, 2009
qroqqa commented on the word pied piping
Example of obligatory pied-piping:These are the books most of whose covers I have designed.
October 14, 2009
qroqqa commented on the word substitution salva veritate
Example of opaque context:(1) Reagan believed that Beatrix lived in The Hague.(2) Reagan believed that the eldest daughter of Juliana lived in The Hague.On the usual reading (de dicto) (1) and (2) can be true or false independently of each other; however there is the possibility of a so-called de re reading in which they are still truth-functionally equivalent, if we focus on the referential content of beliefs rather than on what the believer would say.
qroqqa commented on the word mcgurk effect
McGonald effect would have been apt.
qroqqa commented on the word dexterity
also n. (rare) the future, esp. in phrase persevered for dexterity. Example:I spent my first full day in Korea at the tomb of the Great Leader Comrade Kim Il Sung, yearning for the Red Sun of all mankind and seeing him persevered for dexterity.—At Last, At Last My Visit to the DPRK!
October 13, 2009
qroqqa commented on the word antihelmintic
And indeed of anthelminthic, the best-formed derivative from the Greek. The prefix anti- assimilates to a following h.Conceivably, the change of one of the two <th>'s to <t> could be an authentic reflection of Greek phonetics: Grassmann's law. If the ancient Greeks themselves ever used this word, it would have dissimilated one of the <th>'s. But it's not in Liddell & Scott so I'm afraid that makes it a mere spelling mistake.
qroqqa commented on the word remover
The industry association is, I noticed today, the British Association of Removers; but I don't think I've ever seen this word before. (I exclude its bound use with different meaning in such forms as paint remover.)
October 9, 2009
qroqqa commented on the word carapace
Pronounced [kærəˈpɑːtʃi] by someone on Radio 3 the other night, to my utter astonishment.
October 7, 2009
qroqqa commented on the word avast
What part of speech be avast? Karl 'Peg-leg' Hagen be concludin' 'tis a defective verb.
September 28, 2009
qroqqa commented on the word jaga
Apakah Anwar pengWordie baru?
qroqqa commented on the word shoreditch
Shoreditch was home to the Theatre and the Curtain, the first two theatres in (post-Roman) England. He and his whole company would have had to refresh themselves after a hard evening's acting.
September 23, 2009
qroqqa commented on the word dilectification
Some witty person wrote a poem about these confabulations and called it "Grettir's Faring," adding many jests of his own for the dilectification of men.—Grettir's saga, 1914 translation by G.H. Hight.This is hapax legomenon, possibly an error by Hight for 'delectation'.
September 22, 2009
qroqqa commented on the word trowel
We have had nothing from the Liberal Party. All we had was Black Jack McEwen trowelling on the tariff protection while he was kidding farmers he was representing them, and Liberal Party Treasurers sitting up like slugs while being handed speeches by Treasury officials. They could not even read the stuff, much less comprehend it.—Treasurer Paul Keating, Australian House of Representatives, 26 May 1988
September 11, 2009
qroqqa commented on the word gutser
Ah, Internets! It so happens I can: Thursday, 26 May 1988, about 3.30 in the afternoon, Mr Keating's final paragraph on p. 3114 of Hansard. That says 'a gutser', but it's been edited at least to the extent of adding explanations in brackets that Keating wouldn't have said.
Where you all come aguster is, over here we think we're born to rule you. And let me tell you this, it's been ingrained in me from childhood, I think my mission in life is to run you.— Paul KeatingAlmost all hits for "come aguster" on the Web are this Keating quote; and there are only a few for "come a guster". The original expression is "come a gutser". It's not clear from this what Keating originally said, and whether 'guster' is a genuine variant or a spreading typo meme.
qroqqa commented on the word baum
Cognate with English 'beam' ("rafter") and the "tree" component of 'hornbeam'. Also with Dutch 'boom', borrowed as the wooden thingy on a ship (and presumably thus the stretchy microphone), plus in the snake 'boomslang'.
September 10, 2009
qroqqa commented on the word livelihood
Not, in its principal sense, a compound of either 'lively' or the suffix '-head'. It's 'life' + the word giving modern English 'load', 'lode': thus meaning "provisions for life".In the 1500s a transparent homophone meaning "liveliness" was created.
September 8, 2009
qroqqa commented on the word kulmakerroin
Nope: it's mathematical slope, from kulma "angle" + kerroin "coefficient, multiplier", which is from kertoa "multiply" (with mutation of t in a closed syllable).
qroqqa commented on the word candlebra
No, Vanessa, that is not how we do a Brazilian wax. My apologies, modom, Vanessa is new here.
September 7, 2009
qroqqa commented on the word meter
No particular manufacture is carried on here; the staple commodity is malt, of which large quantities are made: this place is a general reservoir for the major part of that article made within 25 or 30 miles, particularly from Saffron Walden in Essex, Newport, and villages adjacent; it is deposited in the care of persons called meters, and disposed of by them to factors or brewers in London for a small commission of 1 1/2d. per quarter; it is then put on board barges and sent to the metropolis.—from a description of Bishop's Stortford in the Universal British Directory, 1791
September 4, 2009
qroqqa commented on the word women aid lorry strangling probe
The secret here is that it's not a \lorry strangling probe, it's a lorry \strangling probe. Nor is it a lorry strangling a \probe, aided by women.
September 2, 2009
qroqqa commented on the word inaudible
Someone must have coined it, and this is believable. This and 'amazement' are just the sort of thing that would be readily understood by his audience, and count towards the huge total of words he supposedly introduced. 'Audible' is known from 1529, and 'invisible' is ancient; someone must have been first to make the analogy, so why not the Bard?
qroqqa commented on the word alligator
This obviously can't have been coined by Shakespeare. Something close to the modern spelling is first known in his works: the First Folio has 'Allegater' (for the 'Aligarta' of the first edition). From this time (early to mid 1600s) classical-looking spellings with an apparent suffix -tor replaced older spellings with Spanish -o or -a. (The word is actually from el lagarto "the lizard", Classical Latin lacerta.)
qroqqa commented on the word nerveless
How's this for an autantonym? 'Nerveless' seems to have swung right round to become a term of praise: "full of courage" instead of "devoid of courage". Almost all the leading Google hits for uses of the word are in this sense (and in a sporting context). I'd never heard this sense before now, and would have thought it a grossly insulting misapplication, almost a malapropism. But apparently this is how it's used now.
August 28, 2009
qroqqa commented on the word doubt
I've heard of some cargo cult etymology that connects them. The Latin dubit- is actually a frequentative of a contracted form of du-hib-, i.e. (allowing for Old Latin weak vowel changes) du- "two" + hab- "have", thus "have two things in mind". Or at least that is vastly more likely.
qroqqa commented on the word leucipottomy
The word from well-formed Greek would be 'leuchippotomy' using the "cut" root, or 'leuchippoglyphy' using the "carve" root.I have to disagree with the comment about -tomy: the range of meanings of the Greek tem-/tom-/tm- root is quite wide and includes the required "cutting into". Many medical terms include -ec-tomy with a separate preposition "out", but plain -tomy as in 'neurotomy' can mean "cutting (through)".
August 27, 2009
qroqqa commented on the word ro-ro
Also known as ro-ro-ro, or 'Roll-on Roll-off Roll-over'.
August 25, 2009
qroqqa commented on the word ყ
Ooh! Ooh! Puts on tinfoil hat with the word 'pedant' picked out in drawing pins. It's an ejective voiceless uvular stop. Ejectives aren't plosives.
qroqqa commented on the word used to
Around 1800 you will find this in transitional forms: so-and-so uses to do something, is used to (= is accustomed to). Their usage is to do it. I don't know when the two words fused and it became pronounced with the [st].
August 23, 2009
qroqqa commented on the word galileo
I understood (vaguely read/recalled) Saddam himself disfavoured the toponymic surname al-Takriti for some political reason: he didn't want to be identified too closely with a local clan, or some such.
August 22, 2009
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