Word of the Day 3/30/2010

31 03 2010

Apron

Definition: apron, n-

  1. An article of dress, originally of linen, but now also of stuff, leather, or other material, worn in front of the body, to protect the clothes from dirt or injury, or simply as a covering.
  2. A similar garment worn as part of a distinctive official dress, as by bishops, deans, Freemasons, etc.
  3. Anything which resembles an apron in shape or function, esp. the leather covering for the legs in a gig or other open carriage. Read the rest of this entry »




Word of the day 3/29/2010

30 03 2010

Agony

Definition: agony-

  1. Anguish of mind, sore trouble or distress, a paroxysm of grief.
  2. Intensity or paroxysm of pleasure
  3. The mental struggle or anguish of Christ in the garden of Gethsemane.
  4. The convulsive throes, or pangs of death; the death struggle. Seldom now used in this sense without qualification, as agony of deathmortal agony. Read the rest of this entry »




Word of the Day 3/28/2010

29 03 2010

Fanny

Definition: Fanny v-

  1. To deceive or persuade by glib talk.
  2. to mess around, waste time; to act in an unproductive, ineffectual, or dithering manner. (British English) Compare with Amer. English (to) fuck about
  3. noun- Backside (Originally, chiefly Amer. English), The female genitals. (Chiefly British English.) Read the rest of this entry »




Word of the Day 3/27/2010

27 03 2010

Rebound

Definition: Rebound, n, adj-

  1. The action of rebounding; the springing or bouncing back of an object after impact or release of pressure; an instance of this.
  2. In the context of light or sound: a reflection; a resonance, an echo. Also as a mass noun. Now rare.
  3. A violent blow. In later use also fig.: a severe rebuke or reprimand. Now Sc. and rare. Read the rest of this entry »




Word of the Day 3/26/2010

27 03 2010

Myopic

Definition: Myopic, adj-

  1. Of, relating to, or affected with myopia; short-sighted, near-sighted.
  2. fig. Lacking foresight or intellectual insight; unimaginative.
  3. n.A short-sighted person; a myope. Also fig. Read the rest of this entry »




It is ‘quaint’…isn’t it?

26 03 2010

The word ‘quaint’ is so innocent today.  But that is only because we use it as an adjective.  Not many people think of using it as a noun.  How, one would rightly ask in understandable astonishment, would you use ‘quaint’ as a noun?  Clearly, used as an adjective,  it means “Cunning, ingenious; elaborate, elegant”(Oxford English Dictionary Online).  But looking a bit deeper, one will find an entry in the Oxford English Dictionary for ‘quaint’ the noun.  It’s definition as a noun is “The female external genitals” (Oxford English Dictionary Online).  To be fair, this meaning has become obsolete and rare after the 16th century.  However, let us exmine the etymology to see how the noun meaning of the past, mentioned above, transformed into the innocent adjective meaning we use today.

The noun form, accord to the OED, was used “either punningly after CUNT n. or as a euphemistic substitution for that word”.  “Cunt”, meaning “The female external genital organs” is identical to that of ‘quaint’ as a noun.  How then did it come to mean “Cunning, ingenious; elaborate, elegant”?  Though one could derive a humorous folk-etymology for this, having done it myself, it would serve us better to find the truth.  Our current meaning in the adjective form cam be linked to the “Anglo-Norman cointecuentecuintekointequaintqueintequintquointe and Old French, Middle French cointe clever, astute, quick-witted, experienced, expert (11th cent.)… With use as noun compare earlier QUAINT n.1 (Oxford English Dictionary Online). Thus, it seems that ‘quaint’ the adjective and ‘quaint’ the noun were used independently and may not have had much contact with each other in terms of semantic, contextual use.  However, given the attitudes (stemming probably from Biblical stories) toward women during the time this word was used in the these ways, that they were always conniving, always trying to do those thing that would make trouble for the men in their lives (from said Biblical stories) it is hardly out of the question that this is how, and maybe why, the noun form meant the female genitals and cunning, crafty.

-Joel