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confetti

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confetti

Postby eberntson » Wed Sep 12, 2012 10:45 am

: small bits or streamers of brightly colored paper made for throwing (as at weddings)

Origin -

Italian, plural of confetto sweetmeat, from Medieval Latin confectum, from Latin, neuter of confectus, past participle of conficere to prepare — more at comfit
First Known Use: 1815
EBERNTSON
Fear less, hope more;
eat less, chew more;
whine less, breathe more;
talk less, say more,
and all good things will be yours.
--R. Burns
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Re: confetti

Postby Slava » Thu Sep 13, 2012 1:57 am

An excellent suggestion, especially given the etymology. Or at least the meaning of a word in it, that is. The Doctor could easily double up and tell us just what meat means, too.
Life is like playing chess with chessmen who each have thoughts and feelings and motives of their own.
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Re: confetti

Postby Philip Hudson » Fri Sep 14, 2012 9:02 pm

Whoever first used the word confetti for small bits of brightly colored paper certainly did the word a disservice. Confetti means candy or some other sweet meat. It is a cognate to the English word confection or the old word comfit.

Here is a folk etymology: Once upon a time, there was a wealthy Italian duke who loved the common man, especially children. He kept a large bag of brightly wrapped candy with him when he was riding in his carriage and would toss these candies to the children who stopped to watch him go by. This is still a common practice in Texas during parades. Alas, the duke fell on hard times and could no longer afford the candies. So he threw empty colored wrapping paper to the children as he rode by them. He still called it confetti.

As for a real etymology, Etymonline is silent on how the transition was made from candy to colored paper.

I once bought some chewing gum in Mexico. The Spanish word for a confection is a cognate of confetti. After reading the Mexican name for chewing gum on the label and laboriously translating it, what I always thought was chicle turns out to be "an elastic confection, formed into a pill and designed for mastication".

As for the meat in sweetmeat, meat simply meant food for a long part of its history in the English language.
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Re: confetti

Postby eberntson » Sun Sep 16, 2012 10:00 am

Love the little duke story. I find that idea that there is no history harder to swallow.

E
EBERNTSON
Fear less, hope more;
eat less, chew more;
whine less, breathe more;
talk less, say more,
and all good things will be yours.
--R. Burns
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Posts: 356
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Location: Boston, Mass


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