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querulous

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querulous

Postby M. Henri Day » Fri Feb 18, 2005 11:00 am

• querulous •

Pronunciation: kwer
-yê-lês. • [...]

Part of Speech: Adjective

Meaning: Whiny, grumbling, continually complaining about everything

Notes: This good adjective supports an adverb, querulously, and a noun, querulousness. Other forms of the noun, such as querulation, querulity, and querulosity have come and gone over the past 300 years and today are considered vagrant oddities. This word looks so much like quarrel, it is difficult not to confuse it with quarrelsome. But please don't; they are as semantically distinct as they are phonetically.

In Play: First of all, you can never be too polite: "Please don't think me querulous but these are my feet you are standing on." For sure, querulousness is generally not involved with politeness: "The querulous ninny criticizes everything his wife does for him when he should thank her for tolerating him." And what could be worse than a querulous quidnunc, who pries into everyone else's business and complains about it?

Word History: This Good (if used properly) Word came to us via Old French from Latin querulus "querulous", an adjective based on queri "to complain". The original Proto-Indo-European root, *kwes- "to pant, wheeze", is lurking in both English quarrel and question. The latter came from Latin questio, questionis, a noun based on an old past participle of Latin quaerere "to ask, seek", questus. (Today's Good Word came from a long-time Agora contributor who goes by the pseudonym, Ekkis. Why don't you drop by the new Alpha Agora today and say, 'Hello'?)

Perhaps it's worth mentioning another noun derived, as Douglas Harper points out not from a participle, but from the imperative form of quarere, quare, i e, query. Nor should we forgot the word quest, about which much could be said (but not here)....

Henri

PS : Let us hope that ekkis does indeed decide to pay us a visit !...
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Postby tcward » Fri Feb 18, 2005 12:13 pm

Hmm... So I would guess that PIE *kwes- also gave us English queasy. I've never seen any connection suggested anywhere else before, but this looks pretty logical to me.

-Tim
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Postby M. Henri Day » Fri Feb 18, 2005 12:29 pm

I don't know, Tim, the purported connexion seems a bit questionable to me. The following, at any rate, is what Mr Harper has to say regarding this word, at the URL to which a link is provided above :
queasy
1459, coysy, possibly from O.N. kveisa "boil," perhaps influenced by Anglo-Fr. queisier, from O.Fr. coisier "to wound, hurt, make uneasy," from the same Gmc. root as kveisa. But history is obscure and evidences of development are wanting.

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Postby tcward » Fri Feb 18, 2005 1:56 pm

Yes, I saw that. What would O.N. kveisa "boil" be in reference to... The sore called a "boil" or the super-heated liquid that is brought to a boil...?

-Tim
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Postby M. Henri Day » Fri Feb 18, 2005 2:08 pm

tcward wrote:... What would O.N. kveisa "boil" be in reference to... The sore called a "boil" or the super-heated liquid that is brought to a boil...?

The former. Cf the entries on «kvesa» and the more common «kvissla» in modern Swedish in SAOB. The verb corresponding to English «boil» (intr and tr) in Swedish is «koka», which has cognates in most Germanic tongues (e g, English «cook»), all of which seem to derive from a Latin «coquere»....

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Postby tcward » Fri Feb 18, 2005 2:25 pm

That's what I thought. There is an even stronger connection, then, in my mind, because the Indo-European Roots Index at Bartleby.com shows:

ENTRY: kwes-

DEFINITION:
To pant, wheeze. Oldest form *wes-, becoming *kwes- in centum languages. 1. wheeze, from Old Norse hvæsa, to hiss, from Germanic *hwsjan. 2. quarrel1, querulous, from Latin quer, to complain. 3. Suffixed zero-grade form *kus-ti-. cyst, cysto-, from Greek kustis, bladder, bag (< “bellows”). (Pokorny ImageImagees- 631.)


(See boldfaced definition 3.)

-Tim
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Postby M. Henri Day » Fri Feb 18, 2005 2:36 pm

Well, a bellows does wheeze when compressed (like the lungs of smokers), does it not ? Nice work, Tim ; it does seem, indeed, that all of these words could be related !...

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Re: querulous

Postby ekkis » Fri Mar 25, 2005 2:48 am

M. Henri Day wrote:• querulous •PS : Let us hope that ekkis does indeed decide to pay us a visit !...

men herregud! vilken överraskning att find all the usual suspects here!

to be honest, I did attempt to join this site before, at TCWard's suggestion, but the registration agreement with all that nonsense about offensive language quickly disuaded me.

however, having googled for something that led me to this thread seems strangely coincidental... as though I were supposed to find my way here...

so, having just returned from holiday in South America, I've put up a site with pix and blather I will share with whoever cares. the site is at:

http://www.arix.com/ec/reisen/?sa

comments and reactions most welcome.

- e

p.s. M. Henri - nice to see you still active. you disappeared from the old Agora (I guess as I did) and with your absence much of my interest. It's nice to find you again.
Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the law -- AL. I.40
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Postby anders » Fri Mar 25, 2005 8:46 am

Hej X!

Kul att se dig här.

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Postby tcward » Fri Mar 25, 2005 10:24 am

Welcome, ekkis. Looks like you and your dad had a wonderful time in S.A. (not through all the pictures yet, but so far they're enchanting).

From the looks of things, not a querulous moment!

-Tim
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Postby Brazilian dude » Fri Mar 25, 2005 1:22 pm

From Ekkis's blog (or whatever it's called):

Given how Brazil has about as many holidays as there are days in the year we were lucky to find the consulate open, but the process took two exasperating hours of wondering what the hell was going on and getting no answers that made any sense.

Both statements are quite true. The latter is the one that exasperates me the most. :D

Brazilian dude[/code]
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