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Dr. Goodword
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Postby Dr. Goodword » Sat Aug 20, 2005 11:10 am

• anguish •

Pronunciation: æng-gwish • Hear it!

Part of Speech: Noun, mass

Meaning: Severe mental distress, mental pain and suffering.

Notes: Anguish has few relatives. It may be used itself as an intransitive verb, as to anguish over whether the party will be a success. The adjective is formed with the suffix -ed, anguished "suffering anguish". I think it safe to assume that anguishful and, especially, anguishous have not survived the scourge of time, which both richly deserved.

In Play: We live, of course, in a world filled with anguish: "Scoring the winning goal for the opposition caused Cecil considerable anguish at the time, but he was back at the office Monday morning as though nothing had happened." If the world does provide us enough anguish, we can create more ourselves: "Anguish over the thought of her hangnail returning caused Millicent to make 17 typos at work that day, a new record for her."

Word History: Today's Good Word comes to us, via Old French anguisse, from Latin angustiae "distress", the noun from the adjective angustus "narrow, tight". So, Latin angere "to strangle" underlies our anxiety. The Latin word is a hand-me-down from PIE *angh- "tight, painfully constricted, painful" which also propagated German Angst and English angry. That pain in the finger, the hangnail, started out as Old English ang-nægl "painful spike, corn", and picked up an epenthetic [h] somewhere on its way here. Nagel remained in German meaning "nail" while in English it became, of course, nail. (Riutaro F. Aida never causes any anguish when he suggests fascinating terms like this one for our series.)
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Postby Flaminius » Sat Aug 20, 2005 11:51 am

Good to hear our Good Doctor confirm my guess that anxiety and angry are related. Perhaps angary and angry too?


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Postby Brazilian dude » Sat Aug 20, 2005 2:04 pm

Angary (Lat. jus angariae; Fr. droit d'angarie; Ger. Angarie; from the Gr. ἀγγαρεία, the office of an ἄγγαροσ, courier or messenger), the name given to the right of a belligerent to seize and apply for the purposes of war (or to prevent the enemy from doing so) any kind of property on, belligerent territory, including that which may belong to subjects or citizens of a neutral state. Art. 53 of the Regulations respectin

v. c.1200, from O.N. angra "to grieve, vex;" n. c.1250, from O.N. angr "distress, grief," from P.Gmc. *angus (cf. O.E. enge "narrow, painful," M.Du. enghe, Goth. aggwus "narrow"), from PIE base *angh- "stretch round, tight, painfully constricted, painful" (cf. Skt. amhu- "narrow," amhah "anguish;" Armenian anjuk "narrow;" Lith. ankstas "narrow;" Gk. ankhein "to squeeze," ankhone "a strangling;" L. angere "to throttle, torment;" O.Ir. cum-ang "straitness, want"). In M.E., also of physical pain.
1360, from anger + -y (see anger). Originally "full of trouble, vexatious;" sense of "enraged, irate" is from c.1386. The phrase angry young man dates to 1941 but was popularized in ref. to the play "Look Back in Anger" (produced 1956) though it does not occur in that work. "There are three words in the English language that end in -gry. Two of them are angry and hungry. What is the third?" There is no third (except some extremely obscure ones). Richard Lederer calls this "one of the most outrageous and time-wasting linguistic hoaxes in our nation's history" and traces it to a New York TV quiz show from early 1975.

From Tim's site.

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Postby tcward » Sat Aug 20, 2005 9:18 pm

Oh how I wish it was my site! I'd love to take the credit for it! :D


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