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plucky

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plucky

Postby sardith » Sun Feb 06, 2011 1:08 pm

My daughter and I are watching one of our favorite movies, in which a young waitress is described as 'plucky'. I LOVE this word, when used appropriately, of course, and would like to know more about it, please.

Thank you for all your good work, Dr. Goodword,

Sardith :)
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Postby Slava » Sun Feb 06, 2011 1:34 pm

Interesting etymology:

etymonline.com wrote:pluck
late O.E. ploccian "pull off, cull," from W.Gmc. *plokken (cf. M.L.G. plucken, M.Du. plocken, Flem. plokken ), perhaps from V.L. *piluccare (cf. O.Fr. peluchier, c.1180), a frequentative, ultimately from L. pilare "pull out hair," from pilus "hair." But despite the similarities, OED finds difficulties with this and cites gaps in historical evidence. Noun sense of "courage, boldness" (1785) is originally boxing slang, from meaning "heart, viscera" (1611) as that which is "plucked" from slaughtered livestock. Perhaps infl. by fig. use in pluck up (one's courage, etc.), attested from c.1300. Hence, plucky (1842).

" To pluck a rose, an expression said to be used by women for going to the necessary house, which in the country usually stands in the garden." [F. Grose, "Classical Dictionary of the Vulgar Tongue," 1785]

This euphemistic use is attested from 1613.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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plucky

Postby sardith » Sun Feb 06, 2011 2:01 pm

Thanks, Slava.

I saw that, but I didn't understand the part that said:

"OED finds difficulties with this and cites gaps in historical evidence"

I did think that the part about the heart makes much sense.

Sardith :)
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Postby Slava » Sun Feb 06, 2011 3:45 pm

The OED, the Oxford English Dictionary, is considered by many to be the be all and end all of sources for English. I'm assuming that this line means that their editors don't feel there is enough direct evidence to state the connections as fact. It doesn't mean they disagree, rather that they are hedging their bets so as not to be wrong.
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Postby sardith » Sun Feb 06, 2011 3:53 pm

Thanks for your magnification. That makes a lot more sense.

Sardith :D
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Postby MTC » Mon Feb 07, 2011 10:36 am

Plucky the adjective also has a noun form, pluck, which according to the Collins English Dictionary means:
1. courage, usually in the face of difficulties or hardship
2. a sudden pull or tug
3. (Cookery) the heart, liver, and lungs, esp of an animal used for food

Usage:

"She earned a promotion at the chicken processing plant after showing considerable pluck." MTC
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Postby LukeJavan8 » Mon Feb 07, 2011 12:11 pm

Watching the 8 wild turkeys in my back yard right now,
I think how a good turkey dinner would really taste
delicious, until I think of plucking the feathers.
-----please, draw me a sheep-----
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plucky

Postby sardith » Mon Feb 07, 2011 1:49 pm

Stop! You're making me hungry. :lol:
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Postby LukeJavan8 » Mon Feb 07, 2011 1:56 pm

Sorry about that. Now there are 8 of them, and they
really make a mess, worse than wild geese. I feed lots
of birds and things, but not these guys. It is funny
when they hunker down in the middle of a street, resting
on one leg and cars come by. Some just honk and move
slowly, one went onto the sidewalk, many stop and take
pictures. It is very unusual where I live to have them
around. They've been here since Christmas. (I have
a frozen package of cranberries: do you want me to
mail them to You?)
-----please, draw me a sheep-----
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Postby sardith » Mon Feb 07, 2011 2:25 pm

Well, Luke, I am a chef by trade, and that is a tempting offer. I can think of a plethora of ways that I might enjoy the little darlings, but it sounds like you are having much more fun just watching them! :)

Btw, did you see the plucky gobbler that belonged to the Kennedys, that was harassing the U.S. Postal delivery guy in his vehicle? I was watching it on the news. Apparently, one of the older Kennedys bought a turkey at Thanksgiving to show all the little Kennedys where their Thanksgiving dinner 'came from'. It was pretty amusing. :D
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Postby LukeJavan8 » Mon Feb 07, 2011 5:59 pm

So you can get cranberries easier than I can send them.
That's OK. Yes, I do remember that Kennedy turkey
situation. And of course the Presidential Pardon each year
attracts quite a stir. I usually see the 6-10 of them here
every day. Quite amusing really, in the middle of the city.
-----please, draw me a sheep-----
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