Search found 159 matches

by David Myer
Mon Jul 03, 2017 10:48 pm
Forum: Good Word Discussion
Topic: Flag
Replies: 3
Views: 483

Re: Flag

"This old sense of the verb turns up in Middle English flacken and Old Norse flögra "to flap about"" I wonder if the word slack is also related to flacken? And presumably the word flog as in "the flag is flogging itself to shreds" is also related? The f and s interchang...
by David Myer
Tue Jun 20, 2017 6:21 am
Forum: Good Word Discussion
Topic: Ballyhoo
Replies: 3
Views: 686

Re: Ballyhoo

Surely the bird was so named because of the noise it made? When we were kids in England, 60 years ago, a ballyhoo was any tumultuous and noisy activity. And I must say, I always assumed that it was connected to the English hunting cry "Tally Ho" which is another rowdy event. But apparently...
by David Myer
Thu Jun 15, 2017 10:17 pm
Forum: Good Word Suggestions
Topic: Pert
Replies: 7
Views: 1278

Re: Pert

Only ever used for bums and breasts where I come from (which may mean that I come from not very nice places).
by David Myer
Thu Jun 15, 2017 9:10 pm
Forum: Good Word Discussion
Topic: -ump words
Replies: 3
Views: 653

-ump words

Why do so many -ump words relate to raised protuberances?

bump
hump
lump
dump
rump
jump?
clump
mumps
Trump?

And even inverted lumps:
sump
slump
by David Myer
Thu Jun 15, 2017 8:55 pm
Forum: Good Word Suggestions
Topic: Splenitive
Replies: 1
Views: 378

Splenitive

Came across this today in a discussion about Joyce's Ulysses: "Aside from the preponderant gossip and banter, in this episode both great oratory and nauseatingly flowery writing receive extended attention — the latter to hilarious effect, as Simon Dedalus and other layabouts damn the purple pro...
by David Myer
Thu May 18, 2017 10:02 pm
Forum: Good Word Suggestions
Topic: Bravo
Replies: 1
Views: 654

Bravo

I understand it comes from the Latin for bold. So why do we shout it at concerts when we mean "Great stuff. Well done"? There must be an interesting history in this one.
by David Myer
Mon May 15, 2017 8:07 am
Forum: Good Word Discussion
Topic: Hapax legomenon
Replies: 9
Views: 920

Re: Hapax legomenon

I wonder if you ate lots of baked beans, and then anchovies and ice cream, whether your insides might boggle?
by David Myer
Mon May 15, 2017 8:04 am
Forum: Good Word Discussion
Topic: Mother
Replies: 4
Views: 651

Re: Mother

Interesting, Perry. Am I right in thinking that Mother of all... meaning really big, is a relatively new invention. It certainly wasn't a concept we used when I were a lad in England. I guess it is American and recent - post internet. So it should be possible to search for a first use. I don't think...
by David Myer
Thu May 11, 2017 9:15 pm
Forum: Good Word Discussion
Topic: Hapax legomenon
Replies: 9
Views: 920

Re: Hapax legomenon

But in answer to Chick Freund's original question, "Are there other words that appear only with another particular word beside them?" there are many, I would guess. I imagine that helter appears only with skelter, nilly only appears with willy, and hurdy and gurdy only with each other. I h...
by David Myer
Tue May 09, 2017 8:13 pm
Forum: Good Word Discussion
Topic: Bravo
Replies: 1
Views: 432

Bravo

I understand it comes from the Latin for bold. So why do we shout it at concerts when we mean "Great stuff. Well done"?
by David Myer
Sat Mar 04, 2017 9:13 pm
Forum: Good Word Discussion
Topic: Minion
Replies: 8
Views: 1170

Re: Minion

I wasn't feeling brave, but I clicked the link anyway. OMG. Not really my kind of movie. Thanks for the enlightenment, Perry.
by David Myer
Sat Mar 04, 2017 9:07 pm
Forum: Good Word Discussion
Topic: Albeit
Replies: 3
Views: 719

Re: Albeit

Excellent point bljtokyo. Albehe for sure.

I love this one! An English conjunction that agrees with the number. I will do my very best to use these other forms appropriately in my daily and slightly pompous discourse.
by David Myer
Sat Mar 04, 2017 9:01 pm
Forum: Good Word Discussion
Topic: Poppycock
Replies: 2
Views: 594

Re: Poppycock

Gobbledygook is surely not a synonym for nonsense or poppycock? Gobbledygook in my experience always has an element of confusion. It is used for nonsense but specifically words that make no sense because of their confused and confusing use. So, in the example used here, "Lionel made up some pop...
by David Myer
Fri Feb 24, 2017 8:17 am
Forum: Good Word Discussion
Topic: Uncanny
Replies: 7
Views: 2180

Re: UNCANNY

My German is not up to much, so can't help there. But I was struck by the similarity between can in its archaic sense, and ken. D'ye ken John Peel, with his coat... a poem, I learned in detention as an eight year old. Come to think of it, 90% of the poetry I know was learned in detention. Was it wor...
by David Myer
Wed Feb 22, 2017 5:19 am
Forum: Good Word Suggestions
Topic: Slovenly
Replies: 2
Views: 694

Slovenly

I had occasion this evening to accuse my 19 year old son of being slovenly. And I got to thinking about whether this word was once an adverb and whether a sloven is a person who behaves in a slovenly fashion (perhaps behaves slovenlyly)?

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