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Feb 27, 2023This week’s theme
Nouns that are also verbs
This week’s words
Pinion includes carpus (wrist), metacarpus (the part between wrist and fingers), and phalanges (fingers)
Previous week’s theme
A.Word.A.Daywith Anu Garg
The other day, in downtown Seattle I came across this bumper sticker:
Yes, it is. It has been for 450 years (noun for more than 1000). In the beginning, to bird was to catch a bird. It took us some 350 years to realize that we can watch from a distance instead. The first citation of the verb bird meaning to watch birds is from 1917.
When we imprison a bird, or any animal, we have captured its body, but not its essence.
While researching pinioning, I came across a website called “Swan Lovers” that gives instructions on how to clip the wings of a swan. Some love.
You can’t love a caged being. Caged literally or metaphorically. Human or non-human. If you love them, set them free. Forced love is no love.
Which brings to mind another saying: Love is a verb. Yes, it is. A noun and a verb. Just like bird. As happens with words, nouns get verbed and verbs get nouned. This week we’ll feature five nouns that are also verbs.
For noun 2: From French pignon (cogwheel), from Latin pecten (comb), from pectere (to comb).
For the rest: From French pignon (pinion), from Latin pinna (feather, wing, fin).
Earliest documented use: For noun: 1400; for verb: 1556.
According to this website, “The raven has five pinions in each wing and the crow has six. So the true difference between the two is a matter of a pinion!”
“Icarus did it with feathers glued together with wax ... Giovanni Battista Danti tried it with pinions of iron and feathers.”
Obituary: Paul MacCready; The Economist (London, UK); Sep 8, 2007.
“A few years later, Cattelan pinioned his Milan dealer, Massimo De Carlo, to the gallery wall with several layers of heavy-duty duct tape.”
Calvin Tomkins; The Prankster; The New Yorker; Oct 4, 2004.
See more usage examples of pinion in Vocabulary.com’s dictionary.
A THOUGHT FOR TODAY:Talk not of wasted affection; affection never was wasted. -Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, poet (27 Feb 1807-1882)
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