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origin of smash

A discussion of word histories and origins.

origin of smash

Postby Pedroski » Sat Sep 01, 2012 7:22 pm

Anyone have any info on the origin of v. or n. 'smash'?
It seems it is onomatopoeic. Do you think this is correct?
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Re: origin of smash

Postby Perry Lassiter » Sat Sep 01, 2012 8:19 pm

Am. Heritage agrees with you. A couple of others suggest a combo of smack and smash. I find it more interesting the range of meanings to which it applies. Besides the obvious breakage and sports, it can refer to financial ruin and drunkenness.

BTW, we like newcomers to the board, so hang around, comment, and post like you just did.
pl
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Re: origin of smash

Postby Perry Lassiter » Sat Sep 01, 2012 8:20 pm

Oops! I meant smack and mash!
pl
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Re: origin of smash

Postby Pedroski » Sat Sep 01, 2012 8:59 pm

I ask because I am trying to argue, just for arguments sake, that all verbs come from nouns.
See: http://www.lingforum.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=5548

Now, if 'smash' is onomatopeic, then the word is the name of the sound first, with a verbal interpretation layered on that.
eg
n. buzz: bee sound
v. buzz: make a bee sound

So it would be good to know where smash came from. It is not old, I can't relate it to any OE words directly.
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Re: origin of smash

Postby Perry Lassiter » Sun Sep 02, 2012 2:54 am

Most Biblical Hebrew scholars argue over whether Hebrew words come from two or three letter verbs. Now they are not here discussing the origins of language per se, only this one. However, Hebrew, like all current known languages has developed over hundreds of years to the state where you are studying. It's logical that the first dude to speak pointed to a tree and said "ugh." Or maybe pantomimed an action and said "gam." i suppose it's also possible he shoved a guy away from a gal he fancied and said "Mine!" Could the first word have been a possessive? And what about the tendencies for babies to make sounds like "da" and "ma"? Maybe a child led us?
pl
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Re: origin of smash

Postby Philip Hudson » Tue Sep 04, 2012 3:35 pm

Welcome, Pedroski. While we are talking about word origins, where did your very interesting name come from? It looks like a combination of Peter in Spanish with a Polish -ski on it. Since I grew up among Hispanics and Poles, I am intrigued by the name. To all Alpha Agoras, putting a place of residence like "Texas" or "Southampton, UK" in your profile helps others to better understand and appreciate your commentary. "I'm from Texas, pardners. Where y'all from?"
It is dark at night, but the Sun will come up and then we can see.
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Re: origin of smash

Postby bnjtokyo » Wed Sep 05, 2012 5:02 am

You might enjoy reading what the etymology dictionary that is linked to this site has to say about the history of "smash" both as a noun and a verb.
http://www.etymonline.com/index.php?term=smash

Please note however that the oldest definition (circa 1700) is a verb.
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