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I had never heard the word inkhorn before I saw it used in http://english.stackexchange.com/a/62354/13812. The NOAD says that this is a historical noun meaning a small portable container for ink, and that as an adjective it denotes pedantic words or expressions used only in academic writing. How did we get from the one to the other?

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Per Online Etymology Dictionary:

inkhorn

late 14c., "small portable vessel (originally made of horn) for holding ink," from > ink (n.) + horn (n.).

Used attributively as an adjective for things (especially vocabulary) supposed to be beloved by scribblers and bookworms (1540s). An Old English word for the thing was blæchorn.

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One of the many episodes of peeving in the history of English, the Inkhorn Terms controversy "was rife from the mid-16th to the mid-17th century, during the transition from Middle English to Modern English". The metaphor was that the words were supposed to come out of the inkhorn (i.e, were made up by writers and were not Correct words at all). This was of course before Johnson, so say nothing of OED, Fowler, or Strunk and White. –  John Lawler Mar 26 '12 at 16:31
    
@JohnLawler, "The metaphor was that the words were supposed to come out of the inkhorn (i.e, were made up by writers and were not Correct words at all)." If you put that in an answer with a supporting reference, I will accept it. –  zpletan Mar 26 '12 at 16:42
    
Accept it as you please; there it is. –  John Lawler Mar 26 '12 at 17:01
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+1 for blæchorn! Not being well up on Old English, I followed that one up, and was intrigued to discover blæc has given us the seemingly incompatible words black and bleach. Apparently it turns on the concept of "colourlessness". –  FumbleFingers Mar 26 '12 at 17:18
    
"They seem to have come about at the same": well, there's about 150 years between the late 14c. and 1540s. –  Hugo Mar 26 '12 at 19:03

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