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Anu Garg
presents
Language Myths & Hoaxes:
A Humorous Look at Language Misconceptions

The 27th annual Alfred & Julia Hill Lecture at the University of Tennessee-Knoxville
March 23, 8 pm Eastern Daylight Time (Find your local time)
The event is free and all are invited via webcast:
https://tiny.utk.edu/HillLecture2021



Mar 5, 2021
This week’s theme
Words coined after Gulliver’s Travels

This week’s words
lilliput
Laputan
struldbrug
yahoo
Brobdingnag

The King of Brobdingnag and Gulliver
The King of Brobdingnag and Gulliver, 1803 (detail)
Art: James Gillray in Swift’s Gulliver: Voyage to Brobdingnag

This week’s comments
AWADmail 975

Next week’s theme
Euryvocalic words
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A.Word.A.Day
with Anu Garg

Brobdingnag

PRONUNCIATION:
(BROB-ding-nag)

MEANING:
noun: Something very large.
adjective: Huge.

ETYMOLOGY:
After Brobdingnag, a region where everything is enormous, in Jonathan Swift’s Gulliver’s Travels. Earliest documented use: 1731.

NOTES:
For scale, people in Brobdingnag are about 60 feet tall. In the English language the form Brobdingnagian is also used. According to Gulliver, the place should have been spelled as Brobdingrag. Also, as per the map included in the book, Brobdingnag/Brobdingrag is located off the coast of British Columbia, Canada. Not sure why large mythical creatures are placed in this part of the world. Also see, Bigfoot.

USAGE:
“[Ford] has already got small, medium, large, and Brobdingnag covered with Escape, Flex, Edge, Explorer, and Expedition.”
Jim Kenzie; Roomy Compact SUV Has Split Personality; Toronto Star (Canada); Jun 2, 2018.

A THOUGHT FOR TODAY:
For 50 million years our biggest problems were too few calories, too little information. For about 50 years our biggest problem has been too many calories, too much information. We have to adjust, and I believe we will really fast. I also believe it will be wicked ugly while we're adjusting. -Penn Jillette, magician, actor, musician, inventor, television presenter, and author (b. 5 Mar 1955)

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