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PITHY

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PITHY

Postby Dr. Goodword » Sun Sep 10, 2006 12:01 am

• pithy •

Pronunciation: pi-thee • Hear it!

Part of Speech: Adjective

Meaning: 1. Containing pith, the soft inner core of plant stems, feathers, and the like. 2. Dense in content, short and to the point, as a pithy statement or magazine article.

Notes: Remember to swap out the Y for a I whenever you add an ending to today's Good Word: in the adverb, pithily, and the noun, pithiness but also in the comparative and superlative forms: pithier and pithiest. The pithiest article of clothing we might wear is a pith helmet, a helmet made from the pith of the dried sola, a tall swamp-growing plant of India. (Be careful using this word if you lisp.)

In Play: Good writing is pithy, somewhere between verbose (too many words) and cryptic (too few), but leaning toward the latter: "Well, I didn't find the memo justifying all the layoffs very pithy at all." Pithiness is usually a good thing but not always: "Yes, well, I agree that 'Get the Dickens out of here!' is a very pithy expression of your feelings but in some situations subtlety is preferable to pithiness."

Word History: The origin of today's Good Word remains a mystery. What we know is that it is related to pit in the sense of a fruit pit which, in Dutch, means "marrow, kernel". We would seem to have borrowed that word from Dutch but how the [t] > [th] and the meaning shifted to what it is today, have us stumped. (We are happy that Dee Smith was not stumped as to how to slake her curiosity about this word and grateful that she suggested we share it with everyone.)
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Postby Bailey » Sun Sep 10, 2006 12:14 am

I was just thinking about my Goodword suggestions and I guess they aren't pithy enough to be chosen for the wotd, yet.

One wonders about a pith helmet, why is it so-named; is it pithy or a place to pith?

mark shut-ma-mouf Bailey

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Postby Palewriter » Sun Sep 10, 2006 11:02 am

Bailey wrote:I was just thinking about my Goodword suggestions and I guess they aren't pithy enough to be chosen for the wotd, yet.

One wonders about a pith helmet, why is it so-named; is it pithy or a place to pith?

mark shut-ma-mouf Bailey


The pith helmet is made from - you guessed it - the pith of a plant, this makes it quite porous. During the heyday of the pith helmet - late 19th century - this material would be covered in cloth, which could be treated to provide some measure of proofing. Today, this tropical headgear can be found made of vinyl, which would make it a more reliable container for those who didn't have a pot to....you get the idea.

-- PW
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Postby Bailey » Sun Sep 10, 2006 11:00 pm

So, it's not a plath to pith.

mark oops Bailey

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Postby Stargzer » Mon Sep 11, 2006 1:57 am

PW's post reminds me of an old saying, used when you want to tell someone off:

Do you have a hat?
Do you keep it in the bathroom?


The last line would be:

Then go spit in it!


(Or words to that effect) :wink: :shock:
Regards//Larry

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Postby sluggo » Fri Sep 15, 2006 3:53 pm

Bailey wrote:So, it's not a plath to pith.

mark oops Bailey


:D oh pleeeath... ith that poththible?
Stop! Murder us not, tonsured rumpots! Knife no one, fink!
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Postby Bailey » Fri Sep 15, 2006 5:08 pm

Slug my man, you never heard the expression ,"Oh, go pee in your hat."?

mark no-pith-in-my-fedora Bailey

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Postby Stargzer » Sat Sep 16, 2006 2:34 am

Bailey wrote:Slug my man, you never heard the expression ,"Oh, go pee in your hat."?

mark no-pith-in-my-fedora Bailey


I've always heard it "Go (#2) in your hat."

A friend who retired several years ago was riding his bicycle one evening when someone in a car hit him from behind and knocked him backwards onto the hood of the car. Even though he was wearing a bike helmet he sustained some brain injury. Another co-worker said it was the part of the brain that controls personality. I asked, "Does that mean he won't tell people to 'Go pi$$ up a rope anymore?'" (that was one of his trademark expressions) She said "That might be the only thing he tells them!" He recovered, but I could see he was not quite the same as he used to be.
Regards//Larry

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Postby Bailey » Sat Sep 16, 2006 9:27 am

I've heard that too, but perhaps it's my own brain damage that cancels out the coarser one. :D :?

mark not-like-before-thank-god Bailey

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