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I want to say "Rieger coined the notion of deep solidarity." However, I'm not sure about several aspects of this:

  1. Can you coin a notion, or only a phrase?
  2. Can I say he coined the phrase, even if other people used these words with their typical meanings, but he first defined them in a technical sense different than merely "strong solidarity"? (See Rieger's definition of the phrase and others discussing it)
  3. How might others suggest I word this statement?
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    I can find examples for "coined the idea" and "coined the notion" on Google Books.
    – NVZ
    Jan 20, 2018 at 17:28
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    @NVZ - Does that mean it's acceptable - or, is it merely evidentiary?
    – Oldbag
    Jan 21, 2018 at 2:49
  • Rieger first identified the concept of...
    – Davo
    Jan 22, 2018 at 15:25
  • To "coin" means to take a piece of nondescript metal and stamp it with a pattern that makes it a recognizable piece of money. In other words, create something of clear, discernible value out of raw materials. Other meanings are metaphors on that concept.
    – Hot Licks
    Jan 28, 2018 at 19:05
  • The usual metaphorical collocation for creating a new idea is 'to conceive an idea' ('concept' is already a dead metaphor)
    – Mitch
    Feb 28, 2018 at 1:50

5 Answers 5

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coin (v.) ...General sense of "make, fabricate, invent" (words) is from 1580s; phrase coin a phrase is attested from 1940 (to coin phrases is from 1898)... [from Etymonline]

As mentioned in both of the previous answers, the phrase to coin originally meant to "make", "fabricate", or "invent" -- and ought to be reasonably applicable as well to notions (ideas), since words and phrases themselves represent ideas.

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"To coin" did originally mean to invent but it's come more often to mean almost the opposite: "to use a well-known phrase…"

However, "more often" doesn't mean exclusively or even instead. To "first define them in a technical sense…" seems to combine both uses; perhaps to introduce a third.

https://www.phrases.org.uk/meanings/coin-a-phrase.html

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To "coin" means to take a piece of nondescript metal and stamp it with a pattern that makes it a recognizable piece of money. In other words, create something of clear, discernible value out of raw materials. Other meanings are metaphors on that concept.

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1. No. To coin means to create or stamp a phrase as your own e.g. 'shall I compare thee to a summer's day? Thou art more lovely and more temperate.'-William Shakespeare or Arnold Schwarzenegger's phrase-'I'll be back'.

2. As I just said-no. It would have to be their own phrase or their catchphrase.

3. Rieger used the notion 'deeply solitary'.

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    Welcome to ELU, please consider adding sources to support your answers.
    – JJJ
    Apr 6, 2018 at 20:02
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Can you coin a notion, or only a phrase?

You coin a phrase, not a notion.

Can I say he coined the phrase,

I wouldn't call that particular phrase novel enough for anyone to say they coined it.

You could say he developed an idea or methodology or whatever which he called deep solidarity, or he characterized an idea or methodology or whatever, and he called it deep solidarity. The point is, the idea is what's novel, the label he put on it isn't that novel.

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  • Use research when possible to back up your assertions. Or even to discover that your assertion is wrong, and avoid posting an incorrect answer.
    – AndyT
    Sep 4, 2018 at 9:47

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