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#97060 - 02/27/03 09:30 AM fun word list
wwh Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 01/18/01
Posts: 13858
When I was looking for origin of "scalawag" I found a long list of words, with definitions,
of words whose origin is unknown. It would be stinky to hoard them, so:
http://www.well.com/user/smalin/unknown.html


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#97061 - 02/28/03 04:14 AM Re: fun word list
dxb Offline
Pooh-Bah

Registered: 03/06/02
Posts: 1692
Loc: UK
Surprising list. It includes quite common words such as 'cub' and 'scoundrel'. I checked on one word however, 'schooner', and although most sources said the origin was unknown, I did turn up the following from Webster:

The fist schooner ever constructed is said to have between built in Gloucester, Massachusetts, about theyar 1713, by a Captain Andrew Robinson, and to have received its name from the following trivial circumstance: When the vessel went off the stocks into the water, a bystander cried out,O, how she scoons!" Robinson replied, A scooner let her be;" and, from that time, vessels thus masted and rigged have gone by this name. The word scoon is popularly used in some parts of New England to denote the act of making stones skip along the surface of water. The Scottish scon means the same thing. Both words are probably allied to the Icel. skunda, skynda, to make haste, hurry, AS. scunian to avoid, shun, Prov. E. scun. In the New England records, the word appears to have been originally written scooner. Babson, in his History of Gloucester," gives the following extract from a letter written in that place Sept. 25, 1721, by Dr. Moses Prince, brother of the Rev. Thomas Prince, the annalist of New England: This gentleman (Captain Robinson) was first contriver of schooners, and built the first of that sort about eight years since."

So, perhaps a bit of digging would bring up possibilities for at least some of the other words.

In the process of hunting about I came across this Canadian site relating to the Stone of Scone that may be of interest.

http://www.durham.net/~neilmac/stone.htm


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#97062 - 02/28/03 04:59 AM Re: fun word list
AnnaStrophic Offline
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Registered: 03/15/00
Posts: 6511
Loc: lower upstate New York
I've had the misfortune of eating (American-made) scones that tasted like stones.


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#97063 - 02/28/03 05:31 AM Re: fun word list
dxb Offline
Pooh-Bah

Registered: 03/06/02
Posts: 1692
Loc: UK
I know what you mean - we get them here too! Then there's something called a 'dropped scone'...maybe its what's left of a very hot scone that has burnt your fingers?

There is a never ending disagreement in these Isles about whether 'scone' should be pronounced as 'skonn' or 'skone'. What's the American view on that?

The Scone in Stone of Scone, by the way, is pronounced 'skoon'.


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#97064 - 02/28/03 05:37 AM Re: fun word list
Wordwind Offline
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Registered: 09/30/01
Posts: 6296
Loc: Piedmont Region of Virginia, U...
I've heard scone pronounced only to rhyme with stone.

And I've had ones like stones, as mentioned above, and some good ones, too. But they tend to be too large for my appetite.

Cool story about the schooner and the scoon--skipping stones and all that. "How she scoons!" I sure hope I have the opportunity to use that one day--what a lovely phrase!


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#97065 - 02/28/03 06:44 AM Re: scones
Faldage Offline
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Registered: 12/01/00
Posts: 13803
I seem to remember scone being pronounced scawn by relatives during my youth. That would have been in an authentic Clydeside accent. Couldn't say about other parts of Scotland. Among normal USns, scone to rhyme with groan would be the most common.

Parbly there's a thang that y'all wouldn't understand. A scone edible by the Sassenach would be a bit wimpy for the Scottish taste.


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#97066 - 02/28/03 09:01 AM Re: fun word list
wwh Offline
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Registered: 01/18/01
Posts: 13858
Dear dxb: Almost a year ago I posted inquiry about pronunciation of "Scone of Stone".
I had read that UK teenagers say "scun" for the edible. Does that apply to the "thrun stun"?


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#97067 - 02/28/03 09:36 AM Re: fun word list
Faldage Offline
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Registered: 12/01/00
Posts: 13803
"Scone of Stone"

I like it. Not channeling Rhuby, are you, Dr Bill?


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#97068 - 02/28/03 10:08 AM Re: fun word list
wwh Offline
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Registered: 01/18/01
Posts: 13858
Dear Faldage: I've had some hard scones. jmh was going to check the pronunciation for
me, but never did.


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#97069 - 03/03/03 07:35 AM Re: fun word list
dxb Offline
Pooh-Bah

Registered: 03/06/02
Posts: 1692
Loc: UK
I had read that UK teenagers say "scun" for the edible.

I don’t know about this suggestion, Dr Bill. It's certainly new to me. Most UK teenagers probably don’t eat scones - they have a rather old fashioned image! It is possible that somewhere in the British Isles the word is pronounced ‘scun’ in the local dialect but I haven’t found anyone that has heard it pronounced that way. The word is Scottish, but the Scots and people from the north of England that I have asked would say, approximately, ‘skonn’, not ‘skunn’ and not 'skawn'.

There is a word, ‘scunner’- it has had the distinction of being a wwftd and I can do no better than to quote from that august source:

"scunner - [Scot, v] to be in a state of disgusted irritation."

So, there is no connection between ‘scone’ and ‘scunner’.

As a by-product of this enquiry:
The Stone of Scone (pronounced ‘Skoon’) is named after a location close to Perth in Scotland and, as you know, has no connection with scones to eat! The mound at Scone where the Scottish kings were crowned has had many different names one of which was Boot Hill – which came from an ancient tradition whereby emissaries swore fealty to their king by wearing the earth of their own lands in their foot-bindings or boots.
So not all Boot Hills were to be found in the wild, wild west!



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#97070 - 03/03/03 08:33 AM Re: fun word list
Faldage Offline
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Registered: 12/01/00
Posts: 13803
would say, approximately, ‘skonn’, not ‘skunn’ and not 'skawn'.

I can hear ‘skunn’ and 'skawn' in my mind's ear. I have no idea what ‘skonn’ is supposed to sound like. I am willing to entertain the notion that my mind's ear and dxb's mind's ear are not hearing 'skawn' the same way.


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#97071 - 03/03/03 09:08 AM Re: fun word list
dxb Offline
Pooh-Bah

Registered: 03/06/02
Posts: 1692
Loc: UK
Skonn, to me, has 'sco' as in Scot and a sharp 'n' on the end formed with the tip of the tongue curled up to touch the roof of the mouth rather than just behind the front upper teeth. Skawn has the lips pushed forward to make the 'aw' sound as in prawn or born.

Describing on paper what you can hear perfectly well in your head is never easy and I am aware that there are conventions for doing so with wierd upside down 'e's and omegas, but I am really not familiar or comfortable with them. I should be - apologies. I should stay away from such issues!


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#97072 - 03/03/03 09:10 AM The mind's 'ere -
RhubarbCommando Offline
Pooh-Bah

Registered: 08/23/00
Posts: 2204
- and 'ere's the pronunciation:

"Skawn" to rhyme with "dawn"

"Skonn" to rhyme with "upon"


As to "scunner"; in some Eng. dialects, this word means "to skin", as in to remove the skin from an animal (after you've killed it, of course !)

A metaphorical usage is, "Yon stink's enough to scunner a toad!" - i.e, the stench is powerful enough to remove a toad's skin.
I just can't remember in which part of England I heard this: I think it was North Midlands - Nottingham/ Derbyshire/ Staffordshire sort of area.




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#97073 - 03/03/03 09:19 AM Re: fun word list
AnnaStrophic Offline
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Registered: 03/15/00
Posts: 6511
Loc: lower upstate New York
the 'aw' sound as in ... born.

Case in point.


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#97074 - 03/03/03 09:25 AM Re: fun word list
dxb Offline
Pooh-Bah

Registered: 03/06/02
Posts: 1692
Loc: UK
OK! OK! I promise I'll stay away from issues of pronunciation.

No pun intended. (Born - issues...oh well.)


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#97075 - 03/03/03 09:50 AM Re: fun word list
wwh Offline
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Registered: 01/18/01
Posts: 13858
What a shame the pronunciation symbols are such a disaster - so many of them I remember
one I had in highschool French that was marvelously helpful. Now every dictionary is different
and Babel results.


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#97076 - 03/03/03 10:12 AM Re: fun word list
Faldage Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 12/01/00
Posts: 13803
pronunciation symbols are such a disaster

Part of the problem is that of agreeing what they mean. This as in prawn or born, as the lovely AnnaS so ably pointed out, makes no sense to someone for whom the vowel sounds in the two words are completely different. We need a site with sound files.


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