DIALECT AND WORD MEANINGS

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Re: DIALECT AND WORD MEANINGS

Post by Stanley » 08 Nov 2018, 06:24

The joke that Bodge posted yesterday reminded me of one of the differences between US English and our home grown variety. The joke hinged on recognising that the Americans regard 'arse' as a rude word and substitute 'ass'. I suspect that most people will get this.
This reminded me of other instances where what I perceive as a slightly prissy approach to language is preferred. In the States I have never heard breast meat on a table bird referred to as that, it is always 'white meat'. What we routinely call a grease nipple is called a 'zerk'. You have to be very careful when you are over there so as not to offend!
Another word caught my attention, 'knit one purl one', I understand the root of knit but purl? I had a furtle and found this in the Online Etymological Dictionary....
"knit with inverted stitches," 1825; earlier "embroider with gold or silver thread" (1520s), probably from Middle English pirlyng "revolving, twisting," of unknown origin. The two senses usually are taken as one word, but even this is not certain. Klein suggests a source in Italian pirolare "to twirl," from pirolo "top." As a noun, from late 14c. as "bordering, frills," 1530s as "twisted thread of gold and silver."
That sounds reasonable....
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Re: DIALECT AND WORD MEANINGS

Post by plaques » 08 Nov 2018, 08:10

Stanley wrote:
08 Nov 2018, 06:24
the Americans regard 'arse' as a rude word and substitute 'ass'.
We have the cockney rhyming slang 'Bottle and glass, (the glass spoken with a long 'A') = arse, So to lose your Bottle is to lose control of your bowels. Locally known as 'Sh*t scared'

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Re: DIALECT AND WORD MEANINGS

Post by Tizer » 08 Nov 2018, 10:15

Having been an editor and publisher I can confirm Stanley's comments about the different attitude in the US to words that we see as only slightly naughty or not at all offensive. On the other hand, we in the UK are now moving towards the US state of affairs with increasing intolerance of relatively minor issues.

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Re: DIALECT AND WORD MEANINGS

Post by Tripps » 08 Nov 2018, 12:51

There's nearly a page of 'bottle' slang expressions in my Dictionary of Slang. I liked 'bottle and stopper' for Copper.

Strangely they don't give the one that immediately came to (my) mind.
In bookmaker's slang it means two.

Just to keep you all up to speed with modern webspeak I give you Gaslighting which has resurged recently and had me puzzled. :smile:
Born to be mild. . .

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Re: DIALECT AND WORD MEANINGS

Post by Stanley » 09 Nov 2018, 03:29

I didn't know that P! Thanks.
David I came across gaslighting a while ago and enquired. I remember seeing the film Gaslight when I was young and being disturbed by it.
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Re: DIALECT AND WORD MEANINGS

Post by Tizer » 09 Nov 2018, 11:19

I came across `nugatory' yesterday but didn't look it up because it's of no significance... :extrawink:

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Re: DIALECT AND WORD MEANINGS

Post by Stanley » 10 Nov 2018, 03:38

Very clever Tiz! The only place I have ever heard it is in the States..... Not surprising because their version of English is based on the 18th century style taken over there by the immigrants..... (Trump would call them the invaders)
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Re: DIALECT AND WORD MEANINGS

Post by Stanley » 11 Nov 2018, 05:06

One of the things I like about my current author Dorothy Hartley is that, as part of the historical content of her book, she uses archaic words. 'Tracklement' caught my eye yesterday. Here's what I found when I did a search: "Coined in its current sense by the English cookery writer Dorothy Hartley in her book Food in England in 1954, but probably derived from a similar dialect word with variant spellings (e.g. tranklement, tanchiment) used before that date across North and Central England and meaning "ornaments, trinkets; bits of things".
In the sense that Dorothy uses it it refers to vegetables and condiments which naturally enhance a meat, ie. Mustard or horse radish with beef or mint with lamb and mutton.
I like it and approve!
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Re: DIALECT AND WORD MEANINGS

Post by Stanley » 18 Nov 2018, 04:55

Another archaic word culled from Dorothy.... 'Nef'. I had never seen this word and Dorothy explains that in the days before canteens of matched cutlery became common and part of place settings at a banquet it was the practice for each person to take their own knife, single pronged spike (the equivalent of the later fork) and a spoon. This was enclosed in an ornamented case and the whole described as a nef.
However, Dictionary.com and several other authorities cite it as noun, a silver or gold table furnishing in the form of a ship, either for holding various utensils or for ornament. No mention of a personal nef and of French origin. On balance I'll let Dorothy have her version, she has done extensive research and found examples.
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Re: DIALECT AND WORD MEANINGS

Post by Stanley » 19 Nov 2018, 04:23

Worth repeating what I learned from China's post this morning in Mystery Objects. I have often wondered where we got 'jujubes' from as a description for small jellied sweets. It seems that they are small Chinese dates and our ancestors must have known about them.
I looked it up..... "jujube (n.) late 14c., "date-like fruit from a tree found in Asia," from Old French jujube or Medieval Latin jujuba (plural), ill-formed medieval representatives of Late Latin zizyphum, from zizyphus, name of an Asiatic tree with datelike fruit, from Greek zizyphon, from Persian zayzafun. For consonant shift, compare jealous from zealous. The meaning "soft candy with date-like flavor" first recorded 1835."
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Re: DIALECT AND WORD MEANINGS

Post by Stanley » 23 Nov 2018, 05:03

Dorothy has come up with the solution for a little mystery that has nagged me for years. I have always wondered what the connection was between Artichokes and Jerusalem. Dorothy's explanation is that the name Jerusalem Artichoke (Helianthus tuberosis) has nothing to do with the Holy Land. It is a corruption of the Italian Girasole or sunflower (the plants are the same family, Helianthus) . A search on line of the etymology sites confirms this. One more puzzle solved!
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Re: DIALECT AND WORD MEANINGS

Post by Stanley » 24 Nov 2018, 06:23

Dorothy threw another archaic word at me, 'manchet' so I looked it up....
"Definition of manchet . Middle English.
1 archaic : wheaten bread of highest quality
2 now chiefly dialectal : a roll of manchet especially when of a spindle shape with thick middle and pointed ends : a piece of white bread"
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Re: DIALECT AND WORD MEANINGS

Post by Tizer » 24 Nov 2018, 15:52

I encountered `ratiocination' today. The logical thing to do was to look it up in the dictionary, of course. :smile:

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Re: DIALECT AND WORD MEANINGS

Post by Stanley » 25 Nov 2018, 04:14

ratiocination. "process of reasoning," 1520s, from Latin ratiocinationem (nominative ratiocinatio ) "a reasoning, calm reasoning," from past participle stem of ratiocinare "to calculate, deliberate," from ratio (see ratio) + -cinari , which probably is related to conari "to try" (see conation).
I have come across the word but didn't know the precise meaning.... So I too looked it up!
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Re: DIALECT AND WORD MEANINGS

Post by Stanley » 27 Nov 2018, 06:52

I've just used a common phrase; "Thick as two short planks", where did that one come from?
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Re: DIALECT AND WORD MEANINGS

Post by PanBiker » 27 Nov 2018, 09:28

Just had a thought on that one, not the origin but even if the planks were full length they would still be the same thickness. :laugh5:
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Re: DIALECT AND WORD MEANINGS

Post by Stanley » 28 Nov 2018, 05:05

I had a furtle and found this....
"‘Thick’ in this instance is the UK secondary meaning of the word: to be stupid. This particular usage has been popular since the seventeenth century. This particular connection to pieces of stubby wood seems to have started in the 1970’s. As a ‘plank’ is also a UK term for a stupid person, there seems to be an extra level of stupidity inferred in the doubling of terms.
Is there any logic behind the phrase? Planks appear to look thicker the shorter they are, and what is even thicker? Obviously two short planks.
There are claims that the phrase began life as ‘two shore planks’, the lengths of wood fastened along docks to prevent damage from boats striking them, but Iddy thinks that’s a step too far. Or a plank too far.
Two steps (or two planks) too far is a connection to WW1 artillery. To stop the guns sinking into the mud of the Western Front, planks were wedged beneath their wheels. Military legend claims that in the absence of boards, bodies were used. To completely besmirch the name of artillery gunners, it is alleged they were not of the highest intellectual standing, so they were as thick as the two short planks they replaced. Besides being an outrageous claim, it doesn’t make sense that the phrase laid dormant for fifty years before re-emerging into popular culture."
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Re: DIALECT AND WORD MEANINGS

Post by Stanley » 30 Nov 2018, 07:22

I had another one today, I used the word 'kibosh' which I suspect many of us employ from time to time so I looked it up and found this....
"kibosh (n.) 1836, kye-bosk, in British English slang phrase put the kibosh on, of unknown origin, despite intense speculation. The earliest citation is in Dickens. Looks Yiddish, but its original appearance in a piece set in the heavily Irish "Seven Dials" neighborhood in the West End of London seems to argue against this.
One candidate is Irish caip bháis, caipín báis "cap of death," sometimes said to be the black cap a judge would don when pronouncing a death sentence, but in other sources this is identified as a gruesome method of execution "employed by Brit. forces against 1798 insurgents" [Bernard Share, "Slanguage, A Dictionary of Irish Slang"]. Or the word might somehow be connected with Turkish bosh "
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Re: DIALECT AND WORD MEANINGS

Post by Cathy » 02 Dec 2018, 06:07

Just heard the phrase 'plump for', I don't think it's used much over here.
Meaning to support, choose, drop, throw heavily.
Chiefly British. 1300-50 Middle English - plumpen (v.) cognate with Dutch plompen; probably imitative.
I plump for the red dress.
He plumped down heavily on the sofa.
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Re: DIALECT AND WORD MEANINGS

Post by Stanley » 02 Dec 2018, 06:40

I've used it at times Cathy and I think it's still fairly common.
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Re: DIALECT AND WORD MEANINGS

Post by Cathy » 03 Dec 2018, 12:56

We would say 'He plonked himself down on the sofa'.
Plonked is also used when someone has drank too much alcohol.
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Re: DIALECT AND WORD MEANINGS

Post by Stanley » 04 Dec 2018, 04:01

Plump up cushions and plonk down on them. What a funny language we have!
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Re: DIALECT AND WORD MEANINGS

Post by Tizer » 04 Dec 2018, 10:28

Came across `thole' yesterday. Not the rowing boat meaning (the slot in which the oar sits) but the Northern dialect meaning: to suffer, bear, endure.

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Re: DIALECT AND WORD MEANINGS

Post by Stanley » 05 Dec 2018, 04:15

I knew about it but have never heard it used or used it myself. Webster has this to say.....

" The Long History of Thole. Verb.
Thole has a long history in the English language. It existed in Middle English in its current form, and in Old English in the form tholian, but in these modern times it tholes only in a few of England’s northern dialects. It has, however, a linguistic cousin far more familiar to most English speakers: the word tolerate traces back to Latin tolerare, meaning “to endure, put up with,” and tolerare and tholian share a common ancestor. Unrelated to our featured word thole, there is another (also very old) thole, which can be used as a synonym of peg or pin, or can refer to either of a pair of pins set in the gunwale of a boat to hold an oar in place."
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Re: DIALECT AND WORD MEANINGS

Post by Stanley » 05 Dec 2018, 07:45

Here's one for David to look up. 'Isochrone'. It's amazing what you learn as you travel through life. This one is a good and useful word describing an interesting concept.
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