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cant

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cant

Postby Klimt » Sat Oct 23, 2010 12:37 am

1. insincere talk, esp concerning religion or morals; pious platitudes

2. stock phrases that have become meaningless through repetition

3. specialized vocabulary of a particular group, such as thieves, journalists, or lawyers; jargon

4. singsong whining speech, as used by beggars
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Postby Slava » Mon Oct 25, 2010 10:40 pm

Patois and argot are two of my favorite synonyms for cant.
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Postby Audiendus » Sat Oct 30, 2010 9:56 pm

Note the connection with "chant" in each of the four senses listed above. One can chant (1) the pious words of a hymn or prayer, (2) repetitive phrases as in a mantra, (3) a specialized, mysterious vocabulary as in the case of magic words, or (4) words in a singing/whining tone.

Another (unconnected) meaning of "cant" is a slope, incline, slant or tilt.
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Postby Slava » Sat Oct 30, 2010 10:27 pm

Audiendus wrote:Note the connection with "chant" in each of the four senses listed above. One can chant (1) the pious words of a hymn or prayer, (2) repetitive phrases as in a mantra, (3) a specialized, mysterious vocabulary as in the case of magic words, or (4) words in a singing/whining tone.

Another (unconnected) meaning of "cant" is a slope, incline, slant or tilt.
Nice tie-ins there, Audiendus. Let us not forget the incantation, which would fit all the first 4. It does have its own, magical, meaning, but is part and parcel of the others.

It can also be used as an adjective meaning merry:

adjective Scot. and North England.
hearty; merry.
Origin: 1250–1300; ME < LG kant merry, bold

On that note, I wish everyone a cant Halloween.
Last edited by Slava on Mon Nov 01, 2010 11:32 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby Perry » Sun Oct 31, 2010 8:18 pm

It's funny how recant is to revoke, rather than to repeat.

1530s, from L. recantare "recall, revoke," from re- "back" (see re-) + cantare "to chant" (see cant (1)). A word from the Reformation. Loan-translation of Gk. palinoidein "recant," from palin "back" + oeidein "to sing."
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