Alphadictionary.com

Our Sponsors

Technical Translation
Website Translation Clip Art
 

wanton

Use this forum to discuss past Good Words.

wanton

Postby M. Henri Day » Mon May 02, 2005 10:53 am

Don't tell me that Dr Goodword has wantonly refrained from posting «wanton» to the big board ?!!...

Henri
曾记否,到中流击水,浪遏飞舟?
M. Henri Day
Grand Panjandrum
 
Posts: 1142
Joined: Tue Feb 15, 2005 8:24 am
Location: Stockholm, SVERIGE

Postby tcward » Mon May 02, 2005 5:15 pm

Et tu, Henri?

Well, then, I'll do the honors:

Pronunciation: wôn-tên • Hear it!

Part of Speech: Adjective (Noun, Verb)

Meaning: 1. Playful, sportive, frolicsome, as a wanton kitten in the grass. 2. Undisciplined, unruly, wild, as the errors of wanton youth. 3. rich and luxuriant, as wanton undergrowth. 4. Lewd, lascivious, having loose morals.

Notes: Today’s Good Word is an ambitious adjective with meanings stretching from "playful" to "lewd". The order of the meanings above reflect an attempt to capture how the semantics of this word has slipped over the years. This word may be used as a noun or verb referring to playful or lewd behavior. So, make sure the context is clear when you call your friend an unmitigated wanton or express a desire to wanton in the woods.

In Play: Seldom does a word describe lewd and decent people the way this Good Word does: "He enjoyed living in that house, embraced as it was by wanton shrubbery, watching wanton young rabbits gamboling across the lawn." Unfortunately, the worst of the meanings of this word is crowding out the others today: "Most Hollywood actors avoided the wanton ways of Heidi Fleiss and her friends."

Word History: This Good Word is related to our wants but in the sense of things we lack. It comes from a Middle English compound, wantowen based on wan- "lacking, wanting" + towen, the past participle of teon "to bring up, to discipline", so the original sense of this word was "lacking (wanting) up-bringing". The stem wan comes from a Proto-Indo-European root *eue- "to abandon", which also produced wane and vain, as well as vacate. Teon, the origin of team (originally a disciplined team of horses) is PIE *deuk- "to lead," which also gave us duke. The same root lies behind Latin ducere "to lead," the origin of our (aqua)duct, educate, deduce, conduct, and many more.

–Dr. Goodword, Alpha Dictionary
User avatar
tcward
Senior Lexiterian
 
Posts: 789
Joined: Thu Feb 10, 2005 5:18 pm
Location: The Old North State

Postby Apoclima » Tue May 03, 2005 3:45 am

Definition #4 should be the #1 meaning.

I don't think that I hear "wanton" refering to "playful" or "sportive" very often!

I think that the flavor of this word is always tainted by definition #4.

Apo
'Experiments are the only means of knowledge at our disposal. The rest is poetry, imagination.' -Max Planck
User avatar
Apoclima
Senior Lexiterian
 
Posts: 556
Joined: Thu Feb 10, 2005 5:00 pm

Postby tcward » Tue May 03, 2005 7:22 am

I favor #2 and #4...

The others seem related in meaning, but I don't think I've ever really heard it used as in #1.

-Tim
User avatar
tcward
Senior Lexiterian
 
Posts: 789
Joined: Thu Feb 10, 2005 5:18 pm
Location: The Old North State

Postby M. Henri Day » Thu May 05, 2005 5:28 am

tcward wrote:I favor #2 and #4...

... but I don't think I've ever really heard it used as in #1.


Try Robert Herrick :

266 Delight in Disorder

A SWEET disorder in the dress
Kindles in clothes a wantonness:
A lawn about the shoulders thrown
Into a fine distraction:
An erring lace, which here and there
Enthrals the crimson stomacher:
A cuff neglectful, and thereby
Ribbands to flow confusedly:
A winning wave, deserving note,
In the tempestuous petticoat:
A careless shoe-string, in whose tie
I see a wild civility:
Do more bewitch me than when art
Is too precise in every part.


Henri
曾记否,到中流击水,浪遏飞舟?
M. Henri Day
Grand Panjandrum
 
Posts: 1142
Joined: Tue Feb 15, 2005 8:24 am
Location: Stockholm, SVERIGE

Postby Apoclima » Thu May 05, 2005 4:32 pm

disorder
distraction
erring
neglectful
confusedly
careless
wild

I think these words point to definition #2, not to definition #1.

Apo
'Experiments are the only means of knowledge at our disposal. The rest is poetry, imagination.' -Max Planck
User avatar
Apoclima
Senior Lexiterian
 
Posts: 556
Joined: Thu Feb 10, 2005 5:00 pm

Postby Stargzer » Thu May 05, 2005 7:13 pm

As was our wont, we were served a wanton soup, a delicious broth full of savory minced pork-and-ginger-filled dumplings galore.

I think it's time to leave work and go home for dinner now.
Regards//Larry

"To preserve liberty, it is essential that the whole body of the people always possess arms, and be taught alike, especially when young, how to use them."
-- Attributed to Richard Henry Lee
User avatar
Stargzer
Grand Panjandrum
 
Posts: 2551
Joined: Tue Feb 15, 2005 3:56 pm
Location: Crownsville, MD


Return to Good Word Discussion

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 4 guests

cron