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Questions tagged [reduplication]

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5
votes
1answer
71 views

Does reduplication always place the front/close vowel before the back/open vowel?

I was looking up "seesaw" on Wiktionary , and I noticed all their examples of ablaut reduplication "such as teeter-totter, zigzag, flip-flop, ping pong, etc." have "ee" or "i" in the first word, ...
24
votes
8answers
3k views

Was “lukewarm” a way of saying “warm warm”?

Someone used the expression “un-hot question” to describe a post that was in the HNQ (Hot Network Questions) despite not being “hot”. And my thoughts immediately turned to alternatives such as, ‘tepid’...
2
votes
2answers
277 views

Is there a word for words formed of repeating sounds? [duplicate]

Is there a word for words formed of repeating sounds? Mama, Papa, ... Any other such words...
9
votes
3answers
518 views

What is the origin of 'fuddy-duddy'?

I was surprised to find that the EL&U spellchecker refused 'fuddy-duddy' and was disappointed not to find any further information in the EL&U archives, so I branched out on my own. Phrases....
14
votes
2answers
1k views

“legal beagle” vs. “legal eagle”

Both legal beagle and legal eagle are informal terms for a smart, eagle-eyed attorney or lawyer. Someone who is a stickler for the rules, and who thrives on the minutiae of the law. Oxford ...
15
votes
9answers
5k views

What does “small small” mean in Indian English?

There is a type of 'double adjective' expression in colloquial (mainly spoken) Indian English, which is a reflection of usage in many (Indian) subcontinental languages, example: "small small". For ...
1
vote
1answer
134 views

“The pumps were tump-tumping” from the novel “Waterland”

What is the meaning of "tump-tumping" in the extract below. I looked in many dictionaries but the expression is listed nowhere. From the novel, Waterland: Fairy-tale words; fairy-tale advice. […] ...
0
votes
2answers
276 views

Is “testes” an inflectional reduplication?

I was supposed to ask this question 1 year ago and it is based on a discussion in this question that I answered: What is a word called that consists of a repetition of one word? I gave testes as an ...
18
votes
2answers
3k views

Term for words like “Hanky-Panky” [duplicate]

Is there a name for these kind of doubled words? For example: hanky-panky flim-flam hoity-toity boo-hoo zig-zag Note that some rhyme and others do not.
10
votes
2answers
366 views

Is there a term for reduplication used to disambiguate categorization? [duplicate]

Reduplication - noun - A word formed by or containing a reduplicated element. An act or instance of reduplicating as a grammatical pattern. http://www.thefreedictionary.com/reduplication Is there a ...
3
votes
2answers
125 views

Are there other acceptable juxtapositions of polysemes?

An advert for BBC iPlayer read [I've dropped the comma]: Making the unmissable unmissable. The first 'unmissable' obviously has the sense 'too good to miss', and the second 'always accessible' - ...
1
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7answers
4k views

What’s a “ ‘friend’ friend”, and is that meant to be ironic? [duplicate]

Here is a quote from the "Lois & Clark" series: A: Who are you? B [a guy]: I'm a friend of her ["her" is another female character whom B is looking for]. A: A boyfriend, a "friend" friend ...
16
votes
2answers
20k views

What is the term for the double consecutive use of a word with stress on one of the words to alter its severity?

What is the term when a word is used consecutively twice, with intentional stress placed on the first word, as a means to alter the severity of the word's meaning? I am not referring to a past ...
31
votes
4answers
7k views

crisscross, dillydally, riffraff, etc

Some English words only differ in their vowels: crisscross, dillydally, riffraff, etc. Is there a name for them?