Tag Info

New answers tagged

1

Earliest occurrences of 'dude' in its modern slang sense The earliest citation for dude in J.E. Lighter, Random House Historical Dictionary of American Slang (1994) is from 1877 in Frederic Remington, Selected Letters 15: Don't send me any more [drawings of] women or any more dudes. A longer excerpt from the cited letter (written by Remington to his ...


0

The questioner is right. Com- is a common prefix in English words borrowed from Latin or from French or other Romance languages, but it is not a morpheme in English. (And I see no way that pan and ion as used in the word campanionship can be considered English morphemes.) Even in Latin, the status of the prefix com- as a morpheme is iffy. Some linguists ...


0

"Dude" appears to have been coined in 1883 for the express purpose of giving a name to a particular style of vacuous dandy or swell who was just then becoming more common on the streets of New York. All of the apparent, earlier citations to "dude" have been shown to be incorrectly dated red-herrings. It is hard to completely discount "dud" as a possible ...


7

I suppose it depends on how you define the two terms "foreign words" and "English morphemes." I would not call the English word "companion" a foreign word; to me that is just its etymological origin. I think morphemes are generally considered a little more abstract and general than what you have in mind. In particular, I don't know of any requirement that ...


0

There are more complex answers here that are correct, but to simplify the answer, one may note that a "bet," is a prediction. When something is off, idiomatically, it is -not- "unpowered," which is literal, but it is no longer valid. The idiom is actually two idioms put together, "to bet," and "its off." e.g. "I bet it will rain," and "the wedding is off." ...


0

A morpheme is the smallest meaningful unit in a word. That is, a morpheme is irreducible in meaning, which is not restricted to a particular language. In Japanese, "origami" has two morphemes oru (meaning "fold") plus kami (meaning paper). That English has adopted the word without also adopting its constituents doesn't matter.


-1

It looks like you have to just take it case by case. Companionship can be broken down into companion and ship, but companion uses the prefix com- (as mkennedy stated). This leaves you with three morphemes that are identifiable and useable in English: com, panion, and ship. Panion obviously isn't a word, so in this case it is considered an affix because it ...


0

One - Ogden Nash, master of letters as he was, was being clever & deliberately rhyming insouciance with nuisance (nouciance). Two - I've personally battled with split differentials re insouciance and nonchalance myself in a couple of my books (this name is one of my many pseudonyms) and I found that using nonchalance best described ambivalence in ...


1

Orthodox was first used with reference to a branch of Judaism in 1853, ultra orthodox refers to a branch of Judaism (Haredi) which was formally established in 1912. The expression ultra orthodox , presumably, was already in use by that time: Orthodox: (Etymonline) As the name of the Eastern Church, first recorded in English 1772, in reference to ...


1

But where does shirty come from? And berty or bertie, is that merely decorative rhyming slang? Here's a question that deals well with the 'shirty' part. Meaning and origin of “Get someone's shirt out” Yes, in Britain and I imagine other places it is common (especially with children) to use mild insults that rhyme with a proper name, e.g. Silly Billy. ...


0

Google says of the etymology of magma late Middle English (in the sense ‘residue of dregs after evaporation or pressing of a semi-liquid substance’): via Latin from Greek magma (from massein ‘knead’). I have a hard time imagining an algebraic structure with less structure than a magma, so "residue of dregs" seems fitting. Once you boil away all the ...


2

I think you have got the idea of the best style wrong. Good authors avoid superfluous Latininisms or similar vocabulary and prefer common words. This does not mean that you have to dig out old archaic words nobody knows. That would be no way to good style. In a lot of cases you can't avoid the Latin word. Think of "to describe something", it is the normal ...


2

Since "Anglo-Saxon" (Old English) hasn't been widely spoken in roughly 1000 years, give or take, your determination to only use "Anglo-Saxon" vocabulary is going to severely limit the subjects which you can discuss. Furthermore, you start with a rather peculiar assertion: "It's often said that the best writing chooses Anglo-Saxon vocabulary instead of lofty ...


0

Argh, as in an expression of, well, anything, but usually distaste. Around since the caveman times. http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/argh


0

I believe cannabis is up there on the list as well. It originates from from the Greek word Kánnabis (κάνναβις), which comes from the Hebrew word קְנֵה בֹּשֶׂם [qěnēh bośem. Then later shortened to קַנַּבּוֹס (qannabbôs)], which means "sweet/aromatic cane". It is mentioned in the Old Testament 5 times and is in recipe an anointing oil recipe. This is also ...


1

To the references, you can add the use of the exact phrase "He's not a happy camper" nearly 1:45 into the 1947 movie Tycoon, starring John Wayne. It thus predates all television references.


0

Edit: Updated Answer After more research, I verified that the OED does observe the distinction between initialisms and acronyms, invited by the distinct senses (in the OED) of 'initialism' and 'acronym' (as abbreviations pronounced as individual letters in the former, and abbreviations pronounced as words in the latter), in its Etymology notes. I respect ...


0

A retro speak phrase (now apparently misunderstood), initially used by servicemen anticipating reports regarding their accomplishments and/or antics, later used by celebrities anticipating critical reviews in the newspapers. A salute to kindred spirits (i.e., Pogo).


2

It’s because it never had an afficate there. We spelled it renegue for some time, and some people still do. But just because we dropped the u for ease in spelling doesn’t mean we would change the sound. The OED has: renegue, renege /rɪˈniːg/, /-ˈnɛg/, /-ˈneɪg/, v. Forms: 6–7, 9 reneague, 7–9 renegue, (6 ri-, 7 -neigue, 9 dial. -nague); 7, 9 reneg, ...


3

No, the prefix theo- means "God" from which theology. Theory derived from "theoria" meaning "contemplation sight": Theo- word-forming element meaning "god, gods, God,*" from comb. form of Greek theos "god," from PIE root *dhes-, root of words applied to various religious concepts, such as Latin feriae "holidays," festus "festive," fanum "te ...


2

Fix used in the sense you are referring to dates back to the 18th century: Sense of "tamper with" (a fight, a jury, etc.) is from 1790. probably from the earlier meaning : "settle, assign" evolved into "adjust, arrange" (1660s), then "repair". (Etymonline) Ad a set phrase the earliest usage I could find is from the '40s, but ...


1

The parameter part of the word comes from "Mathematics and Logic" where it serves as an agent to satisfy the requirements of a given formula or reason. Since in a heated debate you have to satisfy/justify a reason with an argument, it makes sense for the word to refer to the same root.


2

(It's been bugging me for ages this "boink".) The earliest instance I found boink, used unequivocally as a verb, is in an electrical engineering volume called R & D Review, 1957. The analogous picture in a simple mechanical model is that of the bottom of anold-fashioned [sic] oil can just as it “boinks”: there are two stable states separated by an ...


3

An acronym is an abbreviation (or intialism) that's pronounced as a word. They're a relatively modern invention; there are a few earlier examples , but their use really took off during WWII. INRI? INRI may be old, but when was INRI introduced into the English language? What evidence is there for people pronouncing it as "inree" in the English language? ...


2

Picking up Jimmy's reference to Googly as Australian slang, there are a couple of possibilities. Firstly to establish the early Australian usage: 1904 P.F.Warner How We recovered Ashes 106 Bosanquet.. can bowl as badly as anyone in the world,but, when gets a length, those slow 'googlies', as the Australian papers call them, are apt to paralyse the greatest ...


1

Speaking as a former (1963) craps dealer at Harrah's Tahoe casino, now an attorney (Harrah's hired law students as craps dealers), bets are toggled as either on or off, in play or not, on the come-out roll. The reason: On the come-out roll, seven is a winner, but only at that time. Other bets lose. So on this roll, the shooter hopes for a seven to win ...


1

It’s impossible to say what lay behind the gift of this unusual name to any particular individual. However, I think it quite possible that Jayla represents a re-spelling of the Biblical Hebrew name יעלא, mentioned in Neh 7:58 and Ezra 2:56 as the forebear of a family among the descendants of “Solomon’s servants”. The name, following the Masoretic pointing, ...


1

A 'rule of thumb' originates from a law that said a man was allowed to beat his wife with a stick, so long as it was no thicker than his thumb. I have remembered this since a history class in secondary school, though I have long forgotten the man (may have been a monarch or politician) who passed the law.


1

Is this sufficiently sinister? "Oh the humanity!" (Hindenburg) Reference: http://history.stackexchange.com/questions/24129/oh-the-humanity


1

I am 80 years of age.Lack of moral fibre has been referred to over my life time and others that use the term ,as someone who is cowardly.I have no research to provide.Its a euphamism for cowardly,a softer terminology to not excite too much the person to which you are speaking.


1

I'm originally from Harrogate, North Yorks, so my local river was the Nidd, which means "sparkling". These days, I live in Perth, Western Australia, where the Swan River flows. Before becoming the Swan River, however, it is known as the Avon River, named after the Avon in England, which of course means River River. Funnily enough though, here it's ...


3

Often the terms calque and loan translation are used. The latter is preferable as there are different types of calques. Please see Wikipedia on these terms.


0

I have two guesses: The firing line, which was the line of infantry using single-shot rifles, or a betting table, where the bet would be placed on a line.


0

Way seems to mean, at its most basic, a course. To "make way" or make "headway" is to progress. When you are on your way home, you are on en route and are literally on a course for home. The Online Etymology Dictionary says that the term "underway" was first used in 1749 in reference to ships having begun to move. This supports the nautical origin because ...


0

If you google on "historical allusion", you will find a lot of words with similar historical significance, e.g.: you, too Brutus! Potato chips are my diet's Achilles heel. He was a Good Samaritan yesterday when he helped the lady start her car. John Travolta in "Grease" was most girl's Apollo. The club decided to boycott any cosmetics company that tested ...


1

Here is an example from 1814 where it means to tow (by horse). Perambulations of Cosmopolite: Or, Travels and Labors of Lorenzo Dow, I came to a camp where some negroes were toting* tobacco to market. I stopped with them until day, and one gave me some corn for my horse. *The mode of toting tobacco to market, is by rolling it in casks, with a ...


0

Many terms in English have a well-known history. We are not allowed to create lists so I'll offer just one example. "to turn a blind eye" To knowingly refuse to acknowledge something which you know to be real. Origin Admiral Horatio Nelson is supposed to have said this when wilfully disobeying a signal to withdraw during a naval ...


-1

In Breton it is the usual way to count For example : 31 = "unan ha tregont" 62 = "daou ha tri ugent" two and three twenty http://www.kervarker.org/fr/grammar_02_konta.html There are some reasons to believe that this English construction can be ascribed to the influence of Celtic Languages with which English has been in contact for the last ...


0

The question is about ethymology. To my knowledge - and living in Silicon Valley - I saw it the first time used a few years ago on a forum where Apple and Google fans were trading garbs. I saw "fanboy" used initially for Apple iPhone fans - very much in the vein of "Mactard" - pejorative terms for users of Apple's dumbed-down systems, as perceived by the ...


1

Definitely correct use, think of it this way: if one is playing a game or sport the players must work hard and fast to get a point, a coach might say "come on lets hustle out there". The focus is to score a goal. After which the player or team celebrates for achieving their goal, use.


2

'Not worth shucks' John Bartlett, Dictionary of Americanisms, first edition (1848) has this entry for shuck: SHUCK. The outer husk or shell of the walnut, chestnut, &c.; or the husk of Indian corn. In England, the word is applied to pods as well as husks; as, pea-shucks. Not worth shucks, is a Southern expression meaning good for nothing. ...


-1

There is no reasoning behind and of, which is redundant. It is perfectly sufficient to say in itself. It does not even have the near assonance of each and every. The expression implies that there are usually additional factors to be considered. Incidentally, I wonder whether the full expression is in fact that old in English. It looks like a translation of ...


0

During summer holidays , teenagers would be employed to pick strawberries and raspberries in Perthshire . They would arrive in buses from outlying areas. It gave opportunities to mix, and generally have fun . Memories would be of long summer days , and often their first pay packets . With this in mind , something good would be referred to as the berries . ...


-3

I think that to explain etymology of word 'comrade' by changing the first vowel 'o' to 'a' without notice of so common prefix 'com' is less than ridiculous. So, let's with blessing from William of Ockham to decompose this word the simplest way: "com-rad-e", where 'com' is very common prefix and 'rad' is the root. Wikipedia lists following etymology of ...


1

I note the reference to Shakespeare's Love's Labour's Lost, originally flagged by Evan Morris over at The Word Detective and referenced by Callithumpian here. We are given to understand that Hector is given a gift, which is then described disparagingly as a 'lemon'. I think Morris is on to something, but it's more subtle than just a matter of 'sourness' as ...


2

This blog post by Anatoly Liberman gives a recent and comprehensive overview of some of the complications surrounding this word. In summary, Liberman suggests, following Eduard Sievers, that the word's original etymon was þersc-o-ðl(o). The first part is related to modern thresh ~ thrash. The suffix -ðl(o), which later undergoes metathesis to become -ld, is ...


0

Early instances of 'loving on [someone]' The phrase "loving on [someone]" appears to have arisen fairly recently. A Google Books search turns up an instance from 1914, but it is put in the mouth of a native speaker of Arabic, for whom English is something of a language adventure. From Lucille Van Slyke, "Glad Rags," in Pearson's Magazine (1914): "Take, ...


13

-exia refers to a condition, a pathology in medical terms. It comes from PIE segh ( to hold or have) according to Etymonline. (pathology) forms the names of functional diseases or of conditions such as pyrexia or cachexia. -exia: condition. (Medical terminology) Cachexia (n.) "bad general state of health," 1540s, from ...


26

If a word ends in -exia, such as dyslexia, anorexia and pyrexia does this imply anything about the word itself? It doesn't necessarily imply something about the word. Josh61's answer (which you should read, and which I won't copy here) gives an excellent explanation of the suffix "-exia," used in the word "pyrexia" and also for some other medical ...


1

The Holy Bible - a.k.a. "the Bible" - is the proper title of a specific book; it has also gained a generic use meaning any comprehensive owner's manual or handbook, in which case it is not to be capitalized, e.g. "the investor's bible." The adjective for references to the Bible had always been capitalized - Biblical - conforming to standard rules of English ...



Top 50 recent answers are included