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Is there a noun form of the word "archaic"? The closest word I can think of is "old-fashionedness" but it seems rather clumsy.

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3 Answers

up vote 4 down vote accepted

Maybe archaism

a thing that is very old, or old-fashioned

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+1 for maintaining the etymological relationship in the analogy. You can add "archaicism" to that. You should cite your source (even though it's easy to find). –  Jim Feb 23 '13 at 18:08
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@Jim But that does not work. Look at the model of new to novelty. –  tchrist Feb 23 '13 at 20:02
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Yes, I thought about it some more. I noticed, from the online etymology dictionary, that "new" has diverged from the latin "novus" considerably, if that is indeed its source. Am I incorrectly assuming they are linked (new->novus), seeing how they are mentioned together there? (Or are you referring to the dimunuitive referene to "novellus"?) What troubled me afterword is that "archaic" is not so divergent from the greek "arkhaikos" as "new" is from "novelty". –  Jim Feb 23 '13 at 20:19
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Jim: no, @tchrist was saying that 'old' and 'archaic' are not cognate. –  Mitch Mar 27 '13 at 12:18
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New is to novelty as archaic is to antiquity.

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Don't know why this is downvoted.. It is a legitimate answer. –  Gaʀʀʏ Feb 23 '13 at 18:31
    
It is a correct answer to the question as summarized in the question title, but the body makes clear the question is about a noun form of the word "archaic". –  MετάEd Feb 23 '13 at 19:24
    
@MετάEd If you were right, this would be too simple a question to answer, since anybody can look up archaic, archaical, archaically, archaicism, archaicist, archaism, archaist, archaistic, archaistically, archaize, archaizer, archaizing in any dictionary. Mine is a perfectly correct answer: as novelty is the Latinate form of something that is new, so too is antiquity the Latinate form of something that is the opposite of new. Novelty opposes antiquity. What, you want neo and paleo instead? He pointed the way at Latin, not at Greek. –  tchrist Feb 23 '13 at 20:00
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@MετάEd, Since "old-fashionedness" was proposed as an answer, but rejected only for clumsiness, I think it's clear OP didn't just want an answer that's grammatically a noun-form of archaic. –  The Photon Feb 23 '13 at 20:03
    
I took to question be be about an analogy rather than merely a word or phrase meaning... There are many words that might fit the meaning. But where is the challenge in that beyond general reference? –  Jim Feb 23 '13 at 20:24
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There are two uses of the word novelty. One is for an intangible characteristic of something, and the other is for the thing itself. Your suggested answer of "old-fashiondness" suggests you're thinking of the first usage.

In that case, I'd suggest quaintness. From dictionary.com we have

quaint adjective, quaint·er, quaint·est.

  1. having an old-fashioned attractiveness or charm; oddly picturesque: a quaint old house.

with quaintness as a derived form.

However, I believe that UK and American usage of quaint may be different. I'm answering from an American perspective.

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And if the poster has the other sense of novelty in mind, a suitable match might be relic. –  Sven Yargs Feb 23 '13 at 20:47
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