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#6143 - 09/08/00 02:49 PM Re: exhibit A  
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tsuwm Offline
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this too shall pass
for your consideration:

relume - 1) to relight or rekindle <1864 Swinburne _Atalanta_ Flame that once burnt down Oil shall not quicken or breath relume.> 2) to make clear or bright again <1860 J. P. Kennedy _Horse Shoe Robinson_ [They] gradually relumed their father's countenance with flashes of cheerful thought.> 3) to light up again, to re-illuminate <1799 Campbell _Pleas. Hope_ Lo, nature, life, and liberty relume The dim-eyed tenant of the dungeon gloom.>

mome - a blockhead, dolt, fool <1881 A. J. Duffield _Don Quix._ But if thou cook a kind of fare That not for every mome is fit, Be sure that fools will nibble there.> {we can never have too many words for "fool"}

gammer - a rustic title for an old woman, corresponding to gaffer for a man <1833 Tennyson _Goose_ Then yelp'd the cur, and yawl'd the cat; Ran Gaffer, stumbled Gammer.>

cuckquean - a female cuckold <1922 Joyce _Ulysses_ A wandering crone... their common cuckquean.>

coolth - coolness <1926 J. R. R. Tolkien in Year's Work Eng. Stud., The current coolth, which shows signs of losing its facetiousness, and may claim part of the territory of cool.> <1955 E. Pound _Classic Anthol._ June's mid-summer, August brings coolth again.>

more to come...


#6144 - 09/08/00 02:59 PM Re: exhibit A  
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william Offline
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looking forward to it, tsuwm!

(tsuwm comes out as 'tub' on the spell checker)


#6145 - 09/08/00 03:04 PM Re: exhibit A  
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tsuwm Offline
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this too shall pass
>tsuwm comes out as 'tub' on the spell checker

tsuwm is also a Hebrew word meaning "to fast"... what an Enigma!


#6146 - 09/11/00 05:56 AM Re: natural selection  
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wsieber Online content
old hand
wsieber  Online Content
old hand

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Switzerland
>but, unlike living organisms, when a word "dies out" it may have an afterlife<
..Like the the dinosaurs of "Jurassic Park"?


#6147 - 09/20/00 02:47 PM Re: natural selection  
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metameta Offline
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metameta  Offline
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Sonoma County, California
good point, wseiber;

There's a fine, and often impossibly obscure line of demarcation between archaisms and neologisms. In resurrecting old oaths like "gadzooks", we look for meaning in folk etymology that can't provide any chain of evolution of the word. Gadzooks may have meant "God's hooks", but it is unlikely that it did. there's insufficient evidence to claim that the nails on Christ's cross were ever invoked as an oath; less evidence still that these nails were called "hooks". Words evolve, and often when we pluck them out of the past, we use them in new, different ways, and what we thought to be an archaism is in fact so different from its original usage that it becomes new again.
Speaking of hooks--does anyone know if the oo sound in words like hook, book, took, etc., was ever pronounced like the oo in "moon"? My tongue always wants to say book with the long sound of moon or boot.


#6148 - 09/20/00 03:02 PM Re: natural selection  
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Jackie Offline
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Welcome, meta, and very wise words you speak.
A very recent ex. of what you mean is the word "bad",
which can now mean "good", and it wasn't even archaic yet.

I am sure that book, etc. had the different oo sound when
non-native English speakers said it. Indeed, some of these words have similar spellings and pronunciations in other
languages, so that it would be natural for them to carry over to English.


#6149 - 09/20/00 07:15 PM Re: natural selection  
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Max Quordlepleen Offline
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Speaking of hooks--does anyone know if the oo sound in words like hook, book, took, etc., was ever pronounced like the oo in "moon"? My tongue always wants to say book with the long sound of moon or boot.

I have a friend from Lancashire who uses the same sound for "oo" - the phrase "Look at the book of Luke" used cause some merriment when he said it, to NZ ears, it came out as "luke at the buke of Luke"



#6150 - 09/21/00 06:58 AM Re: to look at books  
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jmh Offline
Pooh-Bah
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It is very common in parts of Lancashire. My school drew from a wide catchment area and we always rolled around when a friend from Oldham (on the Lancashire/Yorkshire border) said "boowks", "loowks" and "hoowks". She was also known for saying that "h-air is what yew 'av on yer 'ed".


#6151 - 09/22/00 10:06 AM Re: gadzooks  
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RhubarbCommando Offline
Pooh-Bah
RhubarbCommando  Offline
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with the "fittest" making it to the next shakeout.

Whilst I agree with the overall tenor of your post, wseiber, I don't think language really has "shakeouts."

Surely it is a continuous process, not necessarily a smooth one but having peaks and troughs. Certain events will promote a good deal of linguistic activity which may well be followed by a "quiet" period, but entry and exit doesn't ever completly stop.

But I do agree that there is a place in the language for archaisms, and tend to disagree with Wiliam's proposition that words "die." Like King Arthur, they lie beneath the linguistic hills, to rise and save us in our hour of need.

I suppose it might be the case in a language that has no, or only a recent, written tradition. Perhaps someone with more knowledge than I (not difficult to find) can inform us on this point.

One of my own favourite archaisms is "yclept" - not that I very often find an opportunity for its use.


#6152 - 09/22/00 10:18 AM Re: gadzooks  
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Max Quordlepleen Offline
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One of my own favourite archaisms is "yclept" - not that I very often find an opportunity for its use.

Solution: Have more children, get more pets, buy more boats.


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