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CHRISTMAS-TREE

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CHRISTMAS-TREE

Postby Dr. Goodword » Sat Dec 22, 2012 10:54 pm

• Christmas-tree •


Pronunciation: kris-mês-chree • Hear it!

Part of Speech: Verb, transitive

Meaning: 1. To fill in randomly answers to test questions that you don't know, as though adding ornaments to a Christmas tree. 2. To add superfluous items randomly, as to Christmas-tree a legislative bill with unnecessary amendments.

Notes: This verb has apparently been trying to make it into the English vocabulary for some time. In addition to the two solid definitions mentioned above, it also has been randomly used to mean "provide with a Christmas tree" and "chase up a Christmas tree". We did not include these meanings because they don't seem to have established themselves so far.

In Play: This word has been making its rounds around US schools for quite some time: "I just couldn't miss Claudia's pajama party last night so I had to Christmas-tree the bio mid-term." Now it has turned up in congressional hearings for the bill that bailed out the US banking industry in 2008: "Senator Shumer promised that the Congress will not Christmas-tree the bail-out plan with unnecessary provisions and amendments."

Word History: Today's Good Word shows poignantly the difficulties of etymology. It clearly is a new verb that has arisen, probably, within the last ten years, yet no one knows who initiated it. We don't even know where it was first published. Christmas, of course, is a reduction of "Christ's mass". Christ, in its turn, is not part of the name of Jesus of Nazareth, but rather an epithet from Greek: khristos "anointed", the verbal adjective of khriein "to anoint". Jesus Christ hence means "Jesus the Anointed" or did originally—a long way from the meaning of today's Good Word. The word for "anointed" in Aramaic, by the way, the language spoken by Jesus, is meshiha, rendered in English as Messiah.
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Re: CHRISTMAS-TREE

Postby Perry Lassiter » Sat Dec 22, 2012 11:47 pm

I believe I have also heard of the word used in reference to a brightly lit instrument panel, such as on an airliner or submarine. Just crossed my mind that it may also be applied in the oil industry to a collection of pipes and wheels, maybe even the derrick. Anyone know?
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Re: CHRISTMAS-TREE

Postby Perry Lassiter » Sat Dec 22, 2012 11:49 pm

PS- obviously I'm pointing to the noun, but to build the display might mean to Cristmas-tree it. Input please from those in the industries.
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Re: CHRISTMAS-TREE

Postby MTC » Sun Dec 23, 2012 6:53 am

In answer to Perry's question, as a former crew-member on a U.S. nuclear fast-attack submarine, I can tell you that though I spent many hours in the control room, the site of numerous control panels, I never heard "Christmas tree" employed as either a noun or a verb.

Besides the well-known tree, here are two additional senses of the noun "Christmas tree" culled from the net:

1.) An oil-well control device consisting of an assembly of fittings placed at the top of the well

(Merriam-Webster)

2.) An options trading strategy that is generally achieved by purchasing one call option and selling two other call options at different strike prices. When drawn structurally, the strike price of the long option is located below the two successively higher written calls and loosely resembles a Christmas tree.

(http://www.investopedia.com/terms/c/chr ... z2FrzWFuL9)

Merry Christmas.
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Re: CHRISTMAS-TREE

Postby LukeJavan8 » Sun Dec 23, 2012 2:17 pm

Curious, I've never heard of the verb, but I am
relatively reclusive.
I'll stick with the one in my house.
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Re: CHRISTMAS-TREE

Postby Philip Hudson » Sun Dec 23, 2012 4:06 pm

The noun Christmas tree, as an oil or gas well control and distribution assembly, has been around for years. Thanks for the reminder MTC. This Texan, from the home of the oil well Chritmas tree, should have been more alert.

As for the Christmas tree verbs. Let's push them out as quickly as possible, before the foul the nest.
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Re: CHRISTMAS-TREE

Postby LukeJavan8 » Sun Dec 23, 2012 7:35 pm

Ditto that.
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