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Nauseous

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Nauseous

Postby Dr. Goodword » Mon Aug 27, 2012 10:04 pm

• nauseous •


Pronunciation: naw-zee-ês • Hear it!

Part of Speech: Adjective

Meaning: Causing an urge to vomit, nauseating. (Most dictionaries would also include "nauseated" as a definition, but see our Notes.)

Notes: Choosing among the various adjectives derived from nauseate is becoming a problem among English speakers. The cause of the urge is either nauseous or nauseating. The experience of nausea leaves you nauseated—not nauseous. A dill pickle with chocolate sauce and whipped cream is nauseous because it nauseates us. We, on the other hand, feel nauseated at the thought of consuming such an 'indelicacy'.

In Play: OK, let's practice the difference we have just learned. "Marge's new perfume is absolutely nauseous; I feel nauseated every time I smell it." Certain types of motion can nauseate us, too: "The drive up Pike's Peak was so nauseous I threw up when we reached the top." That's enough; I find writing about such things is nauseous.

Word History: Of course, nothing is more likely to nauseate us than sailing on a ship, so wouldn't you just know that nausea is based on the Greek word naus "ship". Nausia (or nautia) in Greek meant "seasickness". English nautical is based on a derivation of naus, nautes "sailor". This same PIE word turned up in Latin as navis "ship", from which English navy and naval are derived. Latin also made a verb out of navis, navigare "to sail", from which we derived navigate. (We are happy that Rogers George managed to sail today's Good Word to us without any ill effects.)
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Re: Nauseous

Postby mikespeir » Tue Aug 28, 2012 3:08 am

"The cause of the urge is either nauseous or nauseating. The experience of nausea leaves you nauseated—not nauseous."

Preach it, brother!
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Re: Nauseous

Postby MTC » Tue Aug 28, 2012 7:15 am

Yes, thanks for illuminating the distinction, Dr. Beard.

About the nautical word root, I find it helpful to remember nauSEA. Also, the related loan word English "borrowed" from the French without repayment is "mal de mer."

Free associating, I wonder whether the "mer" in merchant and mercator ultimately derive from "mare" the Latin word for sea?
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Re: Nauseous

Postby Slava » Tue Aug 28, 2012 7:29 am

An excellent word, and one that easily lends itself to a nice insult.

"Are you feeling okay?"
"Fine, why do you ask?"
"Because you look nauseous to me."

Just take care the recipient isn't on the αD mailing list!
Life is like playing chess with chessmen who each have thoughts and feelings and motives of their own.
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Re: Nauseous

Postby Philip Hudson » Tue Aug 28, 2012 6:15 pm

People who say they are nauseous, when they really mean nauseated, really nauseate me. And they are legion.
It is dark at night, but the Sun will come up and then we can see.
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Re: Nauseous

Postby bamaboy56 » Wed Aug 29, 2012 4:08 pm

MTC said
Free associating, I wonder whether the "mer" in merchant and mercator ultimately derive from "mare" the Latin word for sea?
These comparisons to Latin always catch my eye. The Spanish word for sea is "mar", therefore the Spanish word for seasick is "mariado". The same word is also used to mean "dizzy". Being seasick and dizzy could both lead to nausea, no doubt.
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