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FIGMENT

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FIGMENT

Postby Dr. Goodword » Tue Mar 12, 2013 9:03 pm

• figment •


Pronunciation: fig-mênt • Hear it!

Part of Speech: Noun

Meaning: A fictitious invention, a fabrication, an invented or imaginary story, idea, doctrine, etc.

Notes: Today's Good Word often arises in the redundant phrase "a figment of (your) imagination". We don't need to specify the imagination or the mind, since figments can only exist in our minds. The adjective, should you ever need it, is figmental.

In Play: The question is whether we can figure out a situation in which today's Good Word may be used without attaching "of someone's imagination" to it: "Once some Harvard students got together and created a figment of a student applying for admission—and the figmental applicant was admitted!" Other ways abound: "Bernie Madoff's investment firm was a financial figment that caught many investors unawares.

Word History: Today's Good Word comes from Latin figmentum "formation, fiction" from fingere "to form, to feign". This root came to Latin from PIE dheigh- "to form, build". It came to English as dough and dairy. Dairy? The original word in Old English was dey "female servant", the person in charge of the bread, the dough-girl. As time passed and the duties of the dough-girl expanded to those of a dairy maid, the place where the dairy-maid worked was called the dey-ery, today spelled dairy. For families that could not afford a maid, things were tougher. The bread-kneader was the lady of the house, who was called the hlæfdige "bread-kneader". This compound noun comprised hlæf "bread" (today's loaf) + diga "kneader, shaper" which, a 1000 years later, is today's lady. (Albert Skiles is no figment of my imagination, but the contributor who suggested today's very Good Word.)
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Re: FIGMENT

Postby Philip Hudson » Tue Mar 12, 2013 9:59 pm

Malaprop: I was so broken up that she was a fragment of my imagination.
It is dark at night, but the Sun will come up and then we can see.
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Re: FIGMENT

Postby Slava » Tue Mar 12, 2013 10:46 pm

Philip Hudson wrote:Malaprop: I was so broken up that she was a fragment of my imagination.

Nice :!: :lol:

May I add that Mr. Skiles was most assuredly not loafing around when he laid this one on us. We needed a fun one to play with.
Life is like playing chess with chessmen who each have thoughts and feelings and motives of their own.
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Re: FIGMENT

Postby MTC » Wed Mar 13, 2013 7:02 am

A fragment of your imagination,Philip, or perhaps that undigested peanut butter and jelly sandwich you referred to in the Drone thread:

"You don't believe in me," observed the Ghost.

"I don't." said Scrooge.

"What evidence would you have of my reality, beyond that of your senses?"

"I don't know," said Scrooge.

"Why do you doubt your senses?"

"Because," said Scrooge, "a little thing affects them. A slight disorder of the stomach makes them cheats. You may be an undigested bit of beef, a blot of mustard, a crumb of cheese, a fragment of an underdone potato. There's more of gravy than of grave about you, whatever you are!"

A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens

(http://www.stormfax.com/1dickens.htm)
Last edited by MTC on Wed Mar 13, 2013 10:10 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: FIGMENT

Postby askiles » Wed Mar 13, 2013 9:23 am

I never imagined that figment would lead to dairy!
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Re: FIGMENT

Postby LukeJavan8 » Wed Mar 13, 2013 12:22 pm

Welcome Askiles
-----please, draw me a sheep-----
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Re: FIGMENT

Postby Philip Hudson » Wed Mar 13, 2013 2:03 pm

Welcome Askiles. On this forum you will witness, and I hope participate in, greater leaps than from figment to dairy. When we discuss a Good Word, we discuss it thoroughly. I learn a lot that way.
It is dark at night, but the Sun will come up and then we can see.
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Re: FIGMENT

Postby Slava » Wed Mar 13, 2013 5:26 pm

If you dream in color, is that a pigment of your imagination? Or a pigment of a figment?
Life is like playing chess with chessmen who each have thoughts and feelings and motives of their own.
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Re: FIGMENT

Postby LukeJavan8 » Wed Mar 13, 2013 6:25 pm

Now I won't sleep tonight worrying about that! ! !
-----please, draw me a sheep-----
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Re: FIGMENT

Postby Perry Lassiter » Wed Mar 13, 2013 8:06 pm

You can sleep, but if you dream pay attention to whether it's in color. And while you're at it, check for hi-def!
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Re: FIGMENT

Postby gailr » Wed Mar 13, 2013 8:28 pm

Welcome askiles: I knew hlæfdige ---> lady and named a student painting from a pun on that. But the dairy connection is new to me. Thanks for contributing a very interesting word.

Philip Hudson wrote:I was so broken up that she was a fragment of my imagination.
Perhaps you were of two minds about that relationship?

Slava wrote:If you dream in color, is that a pigment of your imagination? Or a pigment of a figment?

"Pigment of [x's] imagination" is a favorite intentional malapropism of mine.
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Re: FIGMENT

Postby LukeJavan8 » Thu Mar 14, 2013 9:47 pm

Perry Lassiter wrote:You can sleep, but if you dream pay attention to whether it's in color. And while you're at it, check for hi-def!


I dream in color all the time. As for hi-def, yes, I think so.
With my dog in the room as well there are sound effects,
and if she jumps on the bed a waking nightmare.
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Re: FIGMENT

Postby Perry Lassiter » Sat Mar 16, 2013 4:28 pm

Gail - hlæfdige? Where did that come from and what does it mean?
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Re: FIGMENT

Postby Philip Hudson » Sat Mar 16, 2013 4:42 pm

Perry: Hlæfdige is an old word meaning, loaf maker. By some etymological sleight of hand, it morphed into the word "lady". Hláfweard, meaning loaf guardian morphed into "lord".
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Re: FIGMENT

Postby gailr » Sat Mar 16, 2013 6:34 pm

Philip, here's an interesting association: although it's from a different language family and culture, loaf guardian isn't far off from the Biblical associations of "breaking bread". The master of the house blessed the bread and then handed it to a slave to break and distribute. In a poorer household, which might not sport a handy retinue of slaves, "any woman could do it"...
(Part of clergy training from a scholar cleric who always challenged students to recognize and grow past their own cultural and personal mindsets. He said conflating the two opposite roles made an impression at the time which has been lost through the intervening ages and shifting cultural mores.)
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