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HABERDASHER

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HABERDASHER

Postby Dr. Goodword » Thu Feb 09, 2012 11:30 pm

• haberdasher •

Pronunciation: hæ-bêr-dæsh-êr-ri • Hear it!

Part of Speech: Noun

Meaning: 1. A dealer in men's clothing. 2. A dealer in a variety of sundry items for sewing, such as buttons, zippers, and ribbons.

Notes: Haberdashers work in haberdasheries. Haberdashery can also refer to the goods sold in a haberdashery, haberdash now being archaic in that sense.

In Play: "Ty Kuhn just opened a haberdashery on Market Street; they say he has the latest styles in men's clothing." There was a period when schoolmarms and -masters were called "haberdashers of nouns and pronouns" in England. So the word may be used metaphorically in the sense of "sundry items" in that country: "Sal McGundy's mind is a haberdashery of opinions, thoughts, and ideas, none of them worth two pence."

Word History: Today's Good Word comes from an Anglo-Norman word habertas, which must have referred to sundries. That would allow for Anglo-Norman habertassier to mean "a dealer in sundries", which would normally reduce to haberdasher in English. Where the word itself comes from is unknown, though it is probably of Germanic origin. The meaning shift from "a variety of small items" to "men's clothing" may have been made possible by the intermediate meaning of "hats and caps". This sense was prevalent at the beginning of the 18th century. This word is one of the great etymological mysteries of the English language. (We now thank Monika Freund of Wuppertal, a haberdasher of Good Words such as the one she suggested for today.)
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Postby Perry Lassiter » Fri Feb 10, 2012 2:03 pm

What is the possibility that the first part of the word goes back to Latin for to have, as in Spanish haber? Thus a store that carries miscellany would be a place that has stuff. I once lived in a small town with one store that carried everything - or at least all sorts of things. There were groceries and meat, bicycles, and belts. In fact, if I needed something and didn't know where to find it, I'd trot in there, and often my search was rewarded.
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haber

Postby BarbaraK » Sat Feb 11, 2012 11:04 am

that is a really good possibility!
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Postby LukeJavan8 » Sat Feb 11, 2012 12:41 pm

Just to poke fun: but that store that has everything
sounds like a WalMart, but is certainly not a
haberdashery.
-----please, draw me a sheep-----
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Postby Perry Lassiter » Sat Feb 11, 2012 1:58 pm

WM is huge. This was, say, 30' wide and 100' long.
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Postby LukeJavan8 » Sun Feb 12, 2012 12:27 pm

I never shop WM: I'd take the 30x100 any day,
especially if they could order in if they did not
have something. And I don't support China:
that is the primary reason, tho it is getting harder
and harder to buy American.
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