Wordsmith.org: the magic of words

Wordsmith Talk

About Us | What's New | Search | Site Map | Contact Us  

Previous Thread
Next Thread
Print Thread
Page 3 of 10 1 2 3 4 5 9 10
#42598 - 09/26/01 09:30 PM Re: Gender and Articles  
Joined: Mar 2000
Posts: 1,981
jmh Offline
Pooh-Bah
jmh  Offline
Pooh-Bah

Joined: Mar 2000
Posts: 1,981
>assuming we are roughly contemporaries, you were about 14 years old during that golden era: I have to commend you, you were a far more avid reader than was I.

Yes, I'm with inselpeter, if I get his gist, I think that you are thinking of the wrong kind of articles. Come on you guys reading Playboy as a fourteen year old boy, pull the other one!



#42599 - 09/27/01 03:47 PM Re: the migratory "n"  
Joined: Dec 2000
Posts: 13,803
Faldage Offline
Carpal Tunnel
Faldage  Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Joined: Dec 2000
Posts: 13,803
I just read the an apron became a napron, which became a napkin part. Actually® it started out as a napron and the n migrated over to the a. A napron is a big one and a napkin is a little one.


#42600 - 09/27/01 03:51 PM Re: Reading Playboy  
Joined: Dec 2000
Posts: 13,803
Faldage Offline
Carpal Tunnel
Faldage  Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Joined: Dec 2000
Posts: 13,803
Well, [silent Harrumph®] I, for one, never *read Playboy when I was 14!!!

I just looked at the pictures.


#42601 - 09/27/01 04:04 PM Re: the migratory "n"  
Joined: Aug 2001
Posts: 2,605
Keiva Offline
Carpal Tunnel
Keiva  Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Joined: Aug 2001
Posts: 2,605
arpon / napron / napkin
Faldage is right - rechecking my source shows that my recall was wrong, but suggests a longer story.

My source indicates that English took the Old French word naperon (= "little tablecloth") but used it for the larger covering; later the phrase for that large covering changed from "a napron" to "an apron". That source does not indicate, however, how English got "napkin" for the small covering.

Faldage, can you help further?


#42602 - 09/27/01 05:05 PM Re: Helping further  
Joined: Dec 2000
Posts: 13,803
Faldage Offline
Carpal Tunnel
Faldage  Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Joined: Dec 2000
Posts: 13,803
how English got "napkin" for the small covering.

I allus thought -on was an augmentive suffix , so I dunno if you're gone believe me. Without consulting the discredited AHD I'd say that the nap part was the root and meant something like hunk of cloth with a protective function against food and the -kin was just the good old English diminutive suffix.


#42603 - 09/27/01 06:05 PM Re: Helping further  
Joined: Dec 2000
Posts: 544
Hyla Offline
addict
Hyla  Offline
addict

Joined: Dec 2000
Posts: 544
San Francisco, CA
I'm wondering about situations where the gender of a noun changes its meaning or sense. Spanish has a few words that can take either gender in their article. The only one that comes to mind is mar, the word for "sea," which is usually a masculine noun but is sometimes considered a feminine noun when used in more literary language, and in some idiomatic expressions.

A twist on this is adjectives that only take one gender's ending - an example being the Italian word figo which means "cool," as in "way cool pocket OED, dude" but is only ever given the masculine ending - ending it in an "a" changes it to a noun, and an obscene anatomical reference at that.

Are there cases like this in other languages, where switching the gender can greatly change the meaning?


#42604 - 09/27/01 06:34 PM Re: Helping further  
Joined: Jan 2001
Posts: 428
Flatlander Offline
addict
Flatlander  Offline
addict

Joined: Jan 2001
Posts: 428
Cape Cod, MA, US
The only one that comes to mind is mar, the word for "sea,"...Are there cases like this in other languages?

IIRC, The German word See means "sea" (as in one of the reputed Seven) when it is one gender (masc?) and "the ocean" (as in the one big one) when another (fem?). Can a better German speaker than I confirm/deny this? Jazzo, it was you wot started the thread...


#42605 - 09/27/01 06:55 PM Re: El vs. La  
Joined: Dec 2000
Posts: 13,803
Faldage Offline
Carpal Tunnel
Faldage  Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Joined: Dec 2000
Posts: 13,803
There's other examples from Spanish but I can't think of any.


#42606 - 09/27/01 07:03 PM Re: El vs. La  
Joined: Dec 2000
Posts: 544
Hyla Offline
addict
Hyla  Offline
addict

Joined: Dec 2000
Posts: 544
San Francisco, CA
Faldage's inability to think of another example somehow helped me think of another example:

la radio = radio
el radio = radius


#42607 - 09/27/01 08:50 PM Re: Helping further  
Joined: Jul 2000
Posts: 1,094
Jazzoctopus Offline
old hand
Jazzoctopus  Offline
old hand

Joined: Jul 2000
Posts: 1,094
Cincinnati & Loveland, Ohio, U...
The German word See means "sea" (as in one of the reputed Seven) when it is one gender (masc?) and "the ocean" (as in the one big one) when another (fem?).

From http://german.about.com/library/weekly/aa042098.htm it appears that der See is lake and die See is ocean.


Page 3 of 10 1 2 3 4 5 9 10

Moderated by  Jackie 

Forum Statistics
Forums16
Topics13,879
Posts223,986
Members9,024
Most Online3,341
Dec 9th, 2011
Newest Members
TFED1, mark18, PureTech, Dilys, Abishek
9024 Registered Users
Who's Online Now
0 registered members (), 50 guests, and 1 spider.
Key: Admin, Global Mod, Mod
Top Posters(30 Days)
Dilys 1
mark18 1
Top Posters(All Time)
wwh 13,858
Faldage 13,803
Jackie 11,613
tsuwm 10,538
LukeJavan8 9,000
AnnaStrophic 6,511
Wordwind 6,296
of troy 5,400
Disclaimer: Wordsmith.org is not responsible for views expressed on this site. Use of this forum is at your own risk and liability - you agree to hold Wordsmith.org and its associates harmless as a condition of using it.

Home | Today's Word | Yesterday's Word | Subscribe | FAQ | Archives | Search | Feedback
Wordsmith Talk | Wordsmith Chat

© 1994-2017 Wordsmith

Powered by UBB.threads™ PHP Forum Software 7.6.0
Page Time: 0.016s Queries: 13 (0.004s) Memory: 2.7357 MB (Peak: 2.8702 MB) Zlib disabled. Server Time: 2017-10-18 18:41:56 UTC