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ROUGHNECK

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ROUGHNECK

Postby Dr. Goodword » Thu Sep 13, 2012 11:15 pm

• roughneck •


Pronunciation: rêf-nek • Hear it!

Part of Speech: Noun

Meaning: 1. A rowdy, a thug, a tough, a hooligan. 2. An oil-rig worker.

Notes: There are two kinds of compound nouns. One that refers to things that are members of the category of the head of the compound, which is always the second constituent. For example a birdhouse is a kind of house and a motorboat is a kind of boat. Today's Good Word is the other kind, whose meaning has "having X" built in. Thus a redhead is not a head, but someone who has a red head and roughneck is someone who has, figuratively, a rough neck. This noun may be used verbally with the meaning "to act like a roughneck".

In Play: Working on an oil rig is a rough job, so we can see how those who work on an oil rig picked up this name. A father might ask his daughter's date: "What kind of roughneck are you, 'Snake', an oil rig worker or . . . the other kind?" We have another word whose meaning approaches that of today's Good Word: "There's a fine line between roughhousing and roughnecking, and you guys crossed it when you broke my lamp."

Word History: This word is obviously a combination of rough + neck. Rough was ruh in Old English, cousin of German rau "rough", and Danish and Norwegian ru "rough". The ancestor of neck, hnecca, occurred rarely in Old English and it meant "nape (back) of the neck". Old English preferred hals or heals as a word for "neck", cousin to German Hals "neck" and Norwegian hals "neck". However, both these languages sport a cousin of English neck, German Nacken and Norwegian nakke referring, as in Old English, to the nape of the neck. (Kathleen McCune of Norway is no roughneck for 'twas she who suggested today's Good Word.)
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Re: ROUGHNECK

Postby MTC » Fri Sep 14, 2012 7:09 am

Roughneck is an example of synecdoche, a figure of speech in which a part represents the whole, or the whole a part, here the neck for the person. Arguably roughneck may also be treated as an example of metonymy, a figure of speech in which something is represented by something else closely associated with it, here a rough neck with an oil rig worker. Redneck is a similar construction.

A frankly macho word with hair on its chest, roughneck is one of a vanishing species endangered by political correctness. Wimps need not apply!
Last edited by MTC on Sat Sep 15, 2012 12:33 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: ROUGHNECK

Postby LukeJavan8 » Fri Sep 14, 2012 1:12 pm

Similar to Scalawag from a few days back.
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Re: ROUGHNECK

Postby Philip Hudson » Fri Sep 14, 2012 7:56 pm

Luke: Are you saying that a roughneck is similar to a scalawag in meaning or in construction? I am sure that a roughneck bears no resemblance at all to a scalawag. A roughneck may fall under the classification of a synecdoche or metonymy, but I don't know of any way a scalawag could be either.

Please explain what you mean.

Long live roughnecks, I was one myself in my youth. Down with all scalawags, I insist with every ounce of my Southern blood.
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Re: ROUGHNECK

Postby Perry Lassiter » Fri Sep 14, 2012 8:00 pm

i.e. with every ounce of your redneck blood?
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Re: ROUGHNECK

Postby LukeJavan8 » Sat Sep 15, 2012 12:02 am

I was simply lumping a number of words together which
to me are somewhat synonymous : scalawag, roughneck,
rapscallion, scamp, gamin, scruffneck, etc. You obviously
have different ideas.
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Re: ROUGHNECK

Postby MTC » Sat Sep 15, 2012 6:34 am

"Gather round children," rasped the Old Logophile, "and I'll tell you a tale."

"Once upon a time there were two outlaws, Roughneck and Scalawag, who lived together in a cabin (like Bonnie and Clyde) with their children, Rapscallion and Gamin, and their dog, Scamp. Though poor and lacking Internet access, they were still happy. To amuse themselves they often played games with names like Bank Robbery, Bar Fight and Riot. What fun they had dressing up and playing different roles! And when they tired of games they would pack their bags and go to visit their uncle Scruffneck and his family in the nearby town of Neologism.

One morning Roughneck said to Scalawag, "...
Last edited by MTC on Sat Sep 15, 2012 12:36 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: ROUGHNECK

Postby LukeJavan8 » Sat Sep 15, 2012 11:33 am

:lol:
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Re: ROUGHNECK

Postby Perry Lassiter » Sat Sep 15, 2012 1:21 pm

In Lousiana roughneck can refer to a brawler, but a good number of men have worked in the oilfields, sometimes as a summer job for college kids, and I believe the beginning job is called a roughneck. I believe they are often gofers and an extra hand for heavy lifting. Anyone on the board done it?
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Re: ROUGHNECK

Postby bamaboy56 » Sat Sep 15, 2012 6:44 pm

Never been a roughneck but my hat's off to those who do that kind of work. Good money in working on drilling rigs but I'm sure it's not for everybody. Maybe in my younger days I could have done it but in my senescence, I'd have to pass. :D
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Re: ROUGHNECK

Postby LukeJavan8 » Sat Sep 15, 2012 8:21 pm

Not my kind of work even if I had wanted to: never weighed
much more than a buck and a quarter.
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Re: ROUGHNECK

Postby bamaboy56 » Sat Sep 15, 2012 9:26 pm

Hey Luke, here in the Deep South we say it's not the size of the dog in the fight, but the size of the fight in the dog. I have a friend who might weigh a buck twenty-five if you fed him a good steak and potato dinner and got him soaking wet. Get him riled up, though, and I wouldn't want to mess with him -- and I come in at two bucks ten (11.6 stone). :D
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Re: ROUGHNECK

Postby bamaboy56 » Sat Sep 15, 2012 9:30 pm

By the way, many MANY thanks to Slava for helping me get my avatar posted. Couldn't figure it out to save me. Turns out size does matter (avatarily speaking). For those who might wonder, my avatar is a play on the Latin meaning of my last name.
Be who you are and say what you feel in your heart. Because those that matter, don't mind. And those that mind, don't matter.
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Re: ROUGHNECK

Postby LukeJavan8 » Sun Sep 16, 2012 12:49 pm

I alreadly mentioned on another thread I really like your
avatar. Reminds me of my Indian roots. I received the
name 'Wolfhawk' following my hanbleceya or 'vision quest'
way back when. I love the wolf, and hundreds of pics of
them.

I too had to have help posting my avatar. I don't understand
how to do all that stuff. A sometimes poster here, on res
diversae, saparris, helped me with mine.
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Re: ROUGHNECK

Postby bamaboy56 » Mon Sep 17, 2012 6:45 pm

Wolfhawk -- that's great! My research showed my last name means "son of wolves" I like it.
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