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DISPORT

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DISPORT

Postby Dr. Goodword » Wed Mar 20, 2013 10:36 pm

• disport •


Pronunciation: di-sportHear it!

Part of Speech: Noun

Meaning: 1. Diversion, amusement, recreation, entertainment. 2. Merriment, fun, a display of playfulness or frolic.

Notes: Today's Good Word can be used as a verb meaning "to entertain in a playful manner", as in "Squirrels are disporting themselves in the tree." The noun for this verb is disportment, which has about the same meaning as disport. If we were to omit the initial syllable, di-, we would be left with sport. That is exactly what our English-speaking ancestors did.

In Play: The first sense of today's word implies nothing beyond entertainment: "What sort of disport does this resort offer?" The second sense of today's Good Word, however, implies showing off: "The children disported themselves with silly games while they waited in the airport."

Word History: Today's Good Word descended from Anglo-French disporter "divert, amuse", literally "carry away" in the sense of English "get carried away". The word was inherited by French from the Latin dis-, a prefix indicating separation, + portare "to carry". The root of the verb porter turns up in many English words. A porter is someone who carries our bags and a port, from Latin portus "gate", is a way in to safety for ships carrying cargo and passengers. The original Proto-Indo-European word came down to English as fare "to get along", akin to German fahren "travel by vehicle". We find remnants of this word in farewell, warfare, and welfare, how well we are faring or getting along. (We hope that Ellen Adams's welfare is filled with happy disport, for 'twas she who submitted the suggestion today's Good Word.)
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Re: DISPORT

Postby Philip Hudson » Wed Mar 20, 2013 10:54 pm

How did I get to my advanced age not having recognized disport as a noun? I have always used it as a verb only. English is so flexible we can make many verbs of nouns and nouns of verbs, so we need always to keep a weather eye out for the odd floating part of speech. My father and mother were constantly telling me how not to disport myself. Now the job has fallen to my wife and children.
It is dark at night, but the Sun will come up and then we can see.
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Re: DISPORT

Postby MTC » Thu Mar 21, 2013 9:13 am

WARNING TO THOSE OF TENDER YEARS AND TENDER EARS, TO SUNDAY SCHOOL TEACHERS, THEIR CLASSES, AND THE VIGILANT ARMY OF THE CHASTE: MILDLY RISQUE MATERIAL FOLLOWS. SPRING HAS SPRUNG!

Ah yes, "disport!" What an apt choice from spring's amorous vocabulary. Spring (March 20th,) when lords and ladies tradiionally broke free from winter's cold grip to "gambol on the green," romp lustily round the maypole, and perchance "take dalliance." In the words of poet John Howard, a time to revel in "The rakehell life, that 'longs to love's disport."

Naturally it was the Norman French who brought this frisky word with them across the channel. Now don't get carried away!
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Re: DISPORT

Postby Perry Lassiter » Thu Mar 21, 2013 10:26 am

Certainly not to France, although many have found disport in Paris since the days of Ben Franklin. Was Thomas Jefferson the only foreigner who disported himself with the agricultural tour of the countryside?
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Re: DISPORT

Postby LukeJavan8 » Thu Mar 21, 2013 12:18 pm

My disporting squirrel is disporting for his daily
portion of peanuts as I write this.
-----please, draw me a sheep-----
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