Alphadictionary.com

Our Sponsors

Technical Translation
Website Translation Clip Art
 

TOPE

Use this forum to discuss past Good Words.

TOPE

Postby Dr. Goodword » Thu Apr 11, 2013 9:58 pm

• tope •


Pronunciation: towp • Hear it!

Part of Speech: Verb

Meaning: To tipple, booze, carouse, drink alcoholic beverages or drink heavily.

Notes: The latest sightings of today's (still) Good Word all come from 'Merry Old': from Scotland, southern, western, and northern England. Charles Kingsley used it in his novel Westward, Ho! Most Americans will be unfamiliar with it, but it is alive and well, and holding its own in the UK. Tope is not to be confused with the color taupe despite their identical pronunciations. A hard drinker is a toper who indulges in toping.

In Play: The implication of this verb is heavy drinking over an extended period: "Miles Overland is off on another toping tour of the French wine country." It is also used as a general term for tippling: "Reggie, go down to the pub and bring your dad home; he's toped enough for one night."

Word History: There are two lines of thought as to the origin of today's Good Word. One school derives it from the Old French word toper "to accept a bet", which went on to become an interjection meaning something like "Done deal!" used when an agreement is reached. This interjection later was used in toasting and from there it became a verb meaning "to tipple". The other school derives the verb from the naval term, to top (a mast), meaning to lean, tip over, or topple, which had become tope by the mid-17th century. This led to the sense of "tip a glass". The latter hypothesis is the simpler and more straightforward and hence the more likely. (We are grateful to Ian Smallwood of Southampton for toping enough to discover today's Good Word and reacquaint his North American cousins with it.)
• The Good Dr. Goodword
User avatar
Dr. Goodword
Site Admin
 
Posts: 3571
Joined: Wed Feb 02, 2005 9:28 am
Location: Lewisburg, PA

Re: TOPE

Postby call_copse » Fri Apr 12, 2013 9:26 am

Ahh, my word! Perhaps I'll be brave and suggest a few more though the best ones seem to be taken. I'd probably only use it fairly self consciously nowadays in all honesty, and rarely tope to any extent except perhaps an extraneous digestif after supper on special occasions.

I'll just point out my favourite usage of this word in Flanders and Swann's 'Have some Madeira M'Dear!
http://www.iankitching.me.uk/humour/hippo/madeira.html

These days you may be warned, you will be considered rather regressive if you suggest tasking advantage of a woman due to her drinking is HER issue - though I'm not sure if that is the songwriter's message, quite.
Iain
User avatar
call_copse
Lexiterian
 
Posts: 304
Joined: Fri Nov 20, 2009 7:42 am
Location: Southampton

Re: TOPE

Postby MTC » Fri Apr 12, 2013 11:16 am

Better to tipple
A little sipple
But If you should tope
Beware of the slope

from The Apocrypha of MTC
MTC
Grand Panjandrum
 
Posts: 1070
Joined: Mon Apr 05, 2010 11:40 am
Location: Pasadena

Re: TOPE

Postby LukeJavan8 » Fri Apr 12, 2013 12:35 pm

or "Don't Drink and Drive", but more poetic.
Thanks for the word call_copse.
-----please, draw me a sheep-----
User avatar
LukeJavan8
Grand Panjandrum
 
Posts: 3492
Joined: Fri Oct 09, 2009 6:16 pm
Location: Land of the Flat Water

Re: TOPE

Postby Perry Lassiter » Fri Apr 12, 2013 2:10 pm

I encounterd Madeira M'Dear in the folk music era of the 60's from my favorite group, the Limelighters. Their lead had a PhD in music or musicology or something, and their tenor, Glen somebody, went off on a solo career. They gave the song a campy and hilarious twist or ten. I must see if it's on YouTube, but I did transfer it from an LP to a cassette, which my car can still play.

Oh, if it's not telling secrets, why does Doc call you Ian, but you sign yourself lain?
pl
Perry Lassiter
Grand Panjandrum
 
Posts: 2414
Joined: Wed Jan 03, 2007 12:41 pm
Location: RUSTON, LA

Re: TOPE

Postby amandel » Fri Apr 12, 2013 3:02 pm

Thirty-five years back, a small group of mathematicians studying the then novel subject of Oriented Matroids, concocted the word "tope" to name a relevant concept. The origin was clear: a shortening of "polytope". I don't think any one of us ever realized that the word already existed, albeit as a verb.

The noun "tope" belongs now to the argot of this niche.
amandel
Junior Lexiterian
 
Posts: 6
Joined: Fri Apr 12, 2013 9:59 am

Re: TOPE

Postby Perry Lassiter » Fri Apr 12, 2013 5:12 pm

Welcome Amandel! Interesting post. Hang around and contribute more as we sideswipe math or your other favorite niches.
pl
Perry Lassiter
Grand Panjandrum
 
Posts: 2414
Joined: Wed Jan 03, 2007 12:41 pm
Location: RUSTON, LA

Re: TOPE

Postby Perry Lassiter » Fri Apr 12, 2013 5:46 pm

And speaking of niche words, I did find the Madeira song and was again reminded of "antepenultimate" a wonderful rhythmic word. I first met it in Hebrew class having reference to accents or something on the antepenultimate syllable. That's the syllable before the penultimate, which of course is the next to last syllable. I always wondered whether in really long words, like antepenultimate, would "pen" be the ante-antepenult? And do two syllable words become anti-antepenultimate?
pl
Perry Lassiter
Grand Panjandrum
 
Posts: 2414
Joined: Wed Jan 03, 2007 12:41 pm
Location: RUSTON, LA

Re: TOPE

Postby Philip Hudson » Fri Apr 12, 2013 6:19 pm

Welcome to the forum amandel. Post often. Tope is new to me in the Good Doctor's definition and in your definition. I did do some little research on it just now and confirmed your posting. Fifty five years ago I studied graph theory and even wrote a very weak thesis in the subject. I turned to Systems Engineering and do not really qualify as a mathematician any more. But there are still some vague notions floating around in my head and a Master's thesis that I cannot now locate.
It is dark at night, but the Sun will come up and then we can see.
Philip Hudson
Grand Panjandrum
 
Posts: 1783
Joined: Thu Feb 23, 2006 4:41 am
Location: Texas

Re: TOPE

Postby LukeJavan8 » Sat Apr 13, 2013 11:33 am

Welcome Amendel
-----please, draw me a sheep-----
User avatar
LukeJavan8
Grand Panjandrum
 
Posts: 3492
Joined: Fri Oct 09, 2009 6:16 pm
Location: Land of the Flat Water

Re: TOPE

Postby MTC » Sun Apr 14, 2013 4:56 am

The welcome mat is out to mathematicians, Amendel. If you post on the subject at least of couple of our members may know what you are talking about, judging from their comments. On this forum, however, you are more likely to meet a trope than a tope. When you say, "the origin was clear," that reminds me of the refrain "It is intuitively clear..." in math texts, an expression which inevitably precedes something perfectly opaque. The authors of math texts seem to take a malicious delight (schadenfreude) at taunting readers with their superiority, "What is clear to us is obscure to you."
It's enough to drive a student to tope, if any excuse is needed.

That said, I still have a layman's fascination with math and mathematicians. Maybe you could popularize math concepts on the forum as the occasion presents. Your assignment should you choose to accept it... Regardless, welcome.
MTC
Grand Panjandrum
 
Posts: 1070
Joined: Mon Apr 05, 2010 11:40 am
Location: Pasadena

Re: TOPE

Postby Perry Lassiter » Sun Apr 14, 2013 9:30 am

Reminds me of a piece I copied in college and is still located somewhere in my rubbish piles. I remember it vividly:
The reason for this is clear. The phenominological immediate is distally mediate!
pl
Perry Lassiter
Grand Panjandrum
 
Posts: 2414
Joined: Wed Jan 03, 2007 12:41 pm
Location: RUSTON, LA

Re: TOPE

Postby amandel » Mon Apr 15, 2013 6:37 am

Thanks for the heads up, fellows, I will try to contribute often.

Now, just a couple of comments:

MTC wrote:The welcome mat is out to mathematicians, Amendel.


This mistake is quite common: the right form is amandel, not amendel (preferably uncapitalized, but that will get no complaints).

MTC wrote:On this forum, however, you are more likely to meet a trope than a tope. When you say, "the origin was clear," that reminds me of the refrain "It is intuitively clear..." in math texts


I see I was not clear. A I mentioned, we concocted the word; the origin was clear to us, at invention time. "Polytope" is a word of common use at some math quarters, and we just shortened it.

MTC wrote:That said, I still have a layman's fascination with math and mathematicians. Maybe you could popularize math concepts on the forum as the occasion presents. Your assignment should you choose to accept it... Regardless, welcome.


This is not the first time I have seen a Good Word that has a mathematical use - I only posted this time because I was instrumental in tope's becoming. While some sciences create their technical terms out of Latin and Greek, mathematicians and computer scientists usually delight on taking common usage words and assigning them a technical meaning. Usually, there is an underlying metaphor, only understood by the author, sometimes there is some wordplay involved..

Anyway, if some word shows up that I know to be used in Mathematics, I will try to point it out whenever I can find an explanation so that the readers can appreciate the use without the need for a technical explanation.
amandel
Junior Lexiterian
 
Posts: 6
Joined: Fri Apr 12, 2013 9:59 am

Re: TOPE

Postby call_copse » Mon Apr 15, 2013 7:28 am

Perry Lassiter wrote:I encounterd Madeira M'Dear in the folk music era of the 60's from my favorite group, the Limelighters. Their lead had a PhD in music or musicology or something, and their tenor, Glen somebody, went off on a solo career. They gave the song a campy and hilarious twist or ten. I must see if it's on YouTube, but I did transfer it from an LP to a cassette, which my car can still play.

Oh, if it's not telling secrets, why does Doc call you Ian, but you sign yourself lain?


I spent some time this weekend reviewing random 78 rpm records on a pre-war gramophone for entertainment. I think that beats your cassette! ('I belong to Glasgow' caused most amusement I believe). Wax cylinders anyone?

Interesting thread though - I might need to tope a little to get to grips properly with polychorons (4-polytopes).

I'd presume Ian to have been a simple transposition error - Iain is correct, though I'm not fussy.
Iain
User avatar
call_copse
Lexiterian
 
Posts: 304
Joined: Fri Nov 20, 2009 7:42 am
Location: Southampton


Return to Good Word Discussion

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 7 guests