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Moil

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Moil

Postby Dr. Goodword » Fri Aug 02, 2013 10:43 pm

• moil •


Pronunciation: moyl • Hear it!

Part of Speech: Verb, intransitive

Meaning: 1. To toil or labor, to work hard, to slave at something. 2. To churn, roil, be agitated, be in turmoil. 3. (British dialects) To wet, dampen, muddy, or soil.

Notes: Today's Good Word comes with a personal noun, moiler, used to refer to laborers or drudges, and not much else. The verb itself may be used as a noun meaning "turmoil, agitation". The same spelling is used for several other nouns with various coincidental meanings, including a kind of apple, a hornless cow, and the glass left on a blowing rod after the article blown has been removed.

In Play: Today's Good Word is probably heard most frequently in the expression moiling and toiling: "After moiling and toiling on the farm all day, Al Falfa enjoyed watching the news while treating himself to an RC Cola and Moon Pie." I personally prefer the sense closer to that of its rhymemate roil: "The visit to her relatives at Christmas left Rhoda Book's mind moiling in ideas for a new novel."

Word History: This word comes from Middle English mollen "to soften by wetting", borrowed and honed from Old French moillier (Modern French mouillier). This French verb descended from Vulgar Latin molliare, a word derived from Classical Latin mollia, used most often in the phrase mollia (panis) "soft part (of bread)". This noun came from mollis "soft", whose root appears in several English words borrowed from Latin, such as mollify and emollient. The root of mollis came to Latin from Proto-Indo-European (PIE) mol-/mel- "soft". The same PIE root made its way through the ancient Germanic languages to English as melt, mellow, and mild. (Now let's thank Nancy Honeychuck for going to the moil of suggesting that we run today's Good Word.)
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Re: Moil

Postby MTC » Sat Aug 03, 2013 4:38 am

Mols moil
Dudes toil
Last edited by MTC on Sat Aug 03, 2013 7:44 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Moil

Postby Philip Hudson » Sat Aug 03, 2013 7:36 pm

MTC: Would that little bit of doggerel pass the "anti-sexist" test?
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Re: Moil

Postby Slava » Sat Aug 03, 2013 8:09 pm

Philip Hudson wrote:MTC: Would that little bit of doggerel pass the "anti-sexist" test?

Is that 'anti-sexist' or 'sexist'? :) Nearly the same, no?

How about this one: 'The gangsters' molls moil in the mall'?
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Re: Moil

Postby MTC » Sat Aug 03, 2013 10:58 pm

Molls moil
Dudes toil
Not Hoyle?
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Re: Moil

Postby Philip Hudson » Sun Aug 04, 2013 10:19 pm

In Slava's "molls moil in the mall", we not only get rhyme but alliteration to boot.

Something "to boot" means about the same as a lagniappe.
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Re: Moil

Postby gwray » Wed Aug 07, 2013 9:05 am

From the opening lines of "The Cremation of Sam McGee" by Robert Service.

There are strange things done in the midnight sun by the men who moil for gold.
The Arctic trails have their secret tales that would make your blood run cold
...
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Re: Moil

Postby Perry Lassiter » Wed Aug 07, 2013 1:09 pm

Service is one of my favorites!
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Re: Moil and Robert Service

Postby gwray » Wed Aug 07, 2013 4:36 pm

Mine too. My high school english teacher dismissed him as a low-brow rhymer. But, I think she based her impression on a couple of popular ballads. Consider the wordcraft in this passage about a fatally injured man watching a sunset from "Our Hero"

So he lay a-watching rosy castles crumbling,
Moats of blinding amber, bastions of flame,
Rugged rifts of opal, crimson turrets tumbling;
So he lay a-dreaming till the shadows came.
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Re: Moil

Postby Philip Hudson » Wed Aug 07, 2013 11:15 pm

gwray: A lot of "low-brow" rhymers get dissed by the erudite. Pay them no mind. I enjoy a wide range of poetry. It certainly includes Wordsworth, Shakespeare, Shelly, Milton, and the other classics. It also includes Service and I am not even ashamed to read Edgar A. Guest and Eugene Field. Actually I quite like them.
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