MINATORY

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MINATORY

Postby Dr. Goodword » Sat Jul 28, 2012 10:29 pm

• minatory •

Pronunciation: min-ê-tor-i • Hear it!

Part of Speech: Adjective

Meaning: Menacing, threatening, ominous.

Notes: The Latin verb that lies behind minatory also produced several other variations with essentially the same meaning, including minacious and its noun, minacity, minatorial, and menacing itself from the verb menace. All mean approximately the same thing. Minatorily, with the I replacing Y, works as an adverb.

In Play: In its most literal sense, today's Good Word refers to threats that project over or into something: "The minatory clouds hanging over the horizon were the only blemish on an otherwise perfect day in the country." Today, however, the meaning has long since diffused from its literal sense: "Dad was very polite, but the minatory smile on his face made it clear he wanted the garage cleaned in the very near future." You may also use this adjective as a noun indicating a threat of some kind: "The boss sent his minatories to the plant floor to make sure everyone was hard at work."

Word History: Today's Good Word was borrowed from minatoire, the Middle French version of Latin minatorius, an adjective from the verb minari "to threaten". This word comes from a Proto-Indo-European root mon-/men- "to jut out, project". This root is usually found in words referring to parts of the body that jut out, such as Latin mentum "chin" and German Mund "mouth"; in fact, the same root underlies mouth, which lost the N somewhere along the way to Modern English. The O-variant underlies Latin mon(t)s "mountain", which English borrowed from Latin's descendant, French, as mount and mountain. Did you know that amount is related to mountain? It started out as Latin ad montem "to the hill", which Old French converted to amont "uphill, upward". English borrowed this word for its noun amount. (We owe a mountain of gratitude to Lew Jury for suggesting today's unusual word.)
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Perry Lassiter
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Postby Perry Lassiter » Sun Jul 29, 2012 12:50 pm

Any relation to the palace of Minos in Crete? King minos and the minotaur?
pl

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Postby LukeJavan8 » Sun Jul 29, 2012 2:10 pm

And a character on a new Disney cartoon?
(A minotaur).
-----please, draw me a sheep-----

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Postby MTC » Sun Jul 29, 2012 10:22 pm

minitory: mildly menacing, threatening or ominous

usage: Squinting more closely into his microscope, to his minor alarm Newton noticed the microbe had assumed a minitory posture.

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Postby Philip Hudson » Mon Jul 30, 2012 3:25 am

Minos: etymology -son of Zeus. No apparent link to minatory.
Minotaur: etymology - Bull of Minos.
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Re: We have nothing to fear but fear itself...

Postby Slava » Mon Jul 30, 2012 9:36 am

Re: We have nothing to fear but fear itself...

MTC wrote:minitory: mildly menacing, threatening or ominous

usage: Squinting more closely into his microscope, to his minor alarm Newton noticed the microbe had assumed a minitory posture.

And misspelling the Word of the Day. :)
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Postby Perry Lassiter » Mon Jul 30, 2012 11:45 am

I repeat: relation, if any, to minos or minator?
pl

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Postby Slava » Mon Jul 30, 2012 12:00 pm

Perry Lassiter wrote:I repeat: relation, if any, to minos or minator?
Philip responded: no apparent link that he could find.

According to Wikipedia Minos is the Cretan word for king.
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Postby MTC » Tue Jul 31, 2012 11:39 am

...Not a misspelling, but a neologism and "mini"scule effort at humor; "mini" means small, so "minitory" means only a little menacing. That's the joke which is no longer funny after an explanation.

And speaking of spelling, "minator" is spelled "Minotaur, " much more menacing.

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Postby Slava » Tue Jul 31, 2012 11:44 am

MTC wrote:...Not a misspelling, but a neologism and "mini"scule effort at humor; "mini" means small, so "minitory" means only a little menacing. That's the joke which is no longer funny after an explanation.

And speaking of spelling, "minator" is spelled "Minotaur, " much more menacing.
Ah, I get it now. Sorry for picking on you nits, which I thought should have been nats.
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