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MONGER

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MONGER

Postby Dr. Goodword » Thu Mar 29, 2012 10:46 pm

• monger •

Pronunciation: mahng-gêr • Hear it!

Part of Speech: Noun

Meaning: 1. A dealer or trader who usually sells goods on a small scale, often door to door, as a fishmonger, woodmonger, bookmonger. 2. Someone who deals in or exploits the undesirable, as a hatemonger, fearmonger, gossipmonger.

Notes: Today this Good Word is used almost exclusively in compound nouns in its second, pejorative sense, as in fleshmonger, rumormonger, and powermonger. Even words like bookmonger and lovemonger imply trade in something used or of low quality. The exception is, of course, Dr. Goodword, who is a proud wordmonger of extremely Good Words.

In Play: The use of today's word by itself has an archaic ring, but it still works in the right context: "Mavis is a prominent monger of rumors and gossip in our little town." You may also use this word as a verb: "Mavis mongers her gossip and rumors to anyone who has the time and lack of character to listen."

Word History: Today's Good Word was borrowed by Old English from Latin mango "slave trader, trader who embellishes his wares", a work akin to Greek maggonon "magic potion or other means of trickery, war machine". The original PIE root was *mang- "to embellish, dress up". It turns up in English as mangle "clothes wringer" and in a few other languages in words referring to machines. (We are happy that Arden Sinclair mongered today's Good Word to us; the product is solid and the price was right.)
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Re: MONGER

Postby Slava » Fri Mar 30, 2012 12:20 am

Dr. Goodword wrote:The exception is, of course, Dr. Goodword, who is a proud wordmonger of extremely Good Words.
And long may the Good Doctor monger on!
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Postby MartinG » Fri Mar 30, 2012 6:07 am

I wonder if the word maggot comes from the same maggonon root? Seeing as a maggot is a transformative beast and turns into a blowfly. In ancient Greece I don't think they had an inkling about genetics ;) so they would see the life cycle as some sort of "trickery."
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Postby LukeJavan8 » Fri Mar 30, 2012 12:30 pm

Interesting. Most maggots around here turn into what
we call 'house flies'.
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Postby MartinG » Fri Mar 30, 2012 3:35 pm

Sorry, I'm English and we also call them bluebottles. I was attempting to americanize them.
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Postby Perry Lassiter » Fri Mar 30, 2012 3:43 pm

Is there a taxonomist in the house? Blowflies are always showing up at crime scenes, helping to determine the time of death. Fruit flies are useful in genetics labs as they breed and mutate so rapidly as to enable the study of evolution and genetics. House flies are for swatting, and horseflies are for avoiding. As I said - taxonomy anyone?

Oh, and the overlap between taxonomy and word study, etymology, and the like?
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Postby Slava » Fri Mar 30, 2012 5:05 pm

MartinG wrote:I wonder if the word maggot comes from the same maggonon root? Seeing as a maggot is a transformative beast and turns into a blowfly. In ancient Greece I don't think they had an inkling about genetics ;) so they would see the life cycle as some sort of "trickery."
According to etymonline, they're not related:

"late 14c., probably an unexplained variant of M.E. maðek, from O.E. maða "maggot, grub," from P.Gmc. *mathon (cf. O.N. maðkr, O.S. matho, M.Du. made, Ger. Made, Goth. maþa "maggot")."

Perry Lassiter wrote:Oh, and the overlap between taxonomy and word study, etymology, and the like?
I'd say the overlap is in learning more closely the exact meaning of words and the names of things. My father told me that his mother (Polish) was upset when she asked him what things were called in English and the answer was often the same word. As in, "What's that called?" "A dog." "But the dogs are different." She didn't like the generic word, she wanted to know the actual name.
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Postby LukeJavan8 » Fri Mar 30, 2012 6:27 pm

In the boarding school I went to we had a variety of jobs
assigned. I was a 'honey-dipper" (cleaned rest rooms),
and swept floors, etc. But if the administration found
a person particularly adept then you kept the job year
after year. I got the fruit fly job: keeping them breeding
for each years' genetics class. I got to put them in
little bottles and hand them out, year after year. What
a joy that was.

The TV CSI series uses the flies you mention at their
crime seasons to solve crimes. Such a thrill.
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Postby Philip Hudson » Mon Apr 02, 2012 12:17 am

Perry asked "As I said - taxonomy anyone?"

We usually think of taxonomy being a biological classification, as in Linnaean taxonomy. When one of my super bright progeny was put in an advanced class in first grade we got a letter from the school saying they would be teaching Bloom's Taxonomy. I was aware of biological taxonomy at the time. I discussed Bloom's Taxonomy with the first grade teacher and was confident that she had no idea what she was talking about. I was not interested very much in teaching methodology at the time, being busy trying to help President Reagan save the free world from the Evil Empire. So I still don't know what Bloom's Taxonomy is, even though I just read an Internet article on it.
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