selfsame #Anglish #PlainEnglish

March 15, 2020

“Selfsame”, sometimes written “self-same”, means “identical, exact”. I see no grounds to keep on using the French and Latin words “identical” and “exact” when we have the lovely word “selfsame”.

© 2020 Bryan A. J. Parry


Funnyman = Comedian #Anglish #PlainEnglish

February 16, 2020

As you can see from the above still from Netflix (if you zoom in), “funnyman” is another word for “comedian”. The word “comedian” is from the French comédien which at the time meant a comic poet. The Old English word was heahtorsmið “laughter-maker”. I really like how the OE word inholds the word “smith”. But perhaps new-words like “laughtersmith” or “laughtermaker” are just too far out for most folk to take onboard — although I have seen “mirth-maker”(!) But good news, we already have the ready-made, homeborn alternative: funnyman. “Funnyman” has actually been in use since the mid-nineteenth century, so it’s well-established.

© 2020 Bryan A. J. Parry

featured image from Netflix


Backbones #Anglish #PlainEnglish

February 15, 2017

image

We talk of someone having or needing to get a backbone. This of course means to get a spine. But we don’t just use “backbone” metaphorically; the word “backbone” has meant a literal spine ever since the early 1300s.

“Spine” is from the Latin spina. So a plain Saxon English / Anglish alternative for spine is backbone.

It then struck me that the backbone itself is actually made of lots of little bones: vertebrae. Each of these is surely a backbone, too. So we have backbones made of backbones? Or perhaps, made of backbonelings… I wasn’t happy with this wordmess. And then I remembered that knuckle doesn’t just mean the finger joint, it also refers to any (particularly knobbly) joint of the body. Thus, your backbone is made up of knuckles; or to be overly clear, back-knuckles. No need to use Latin spine or vertebra or that dodgy outlandish plural –ae.

© 2017 Bryan A. J. Parry

featured image from http://www.healthline.com/hlcmsresource/images/topic_centers/osteoarthritis/642×361-Treating_Spinal_Stenosis-Exercise_Surgery_and_More.jpg


Gite #PlainEnglish #Anglish

February 1, 2017

image

I love house-buying shows. Mostly they look at homes in Spain or Portugual. But today they were looking in France. Just when you thought estate-agent-speak couldn’t get worse than bijou, cosy (=cramped), and the like, I learnt a new word: gîte. After about three minutes, and hearing it several times, the word had already begun to irk me. After an hour, I was ready to start stabbing.

So far as I can tell, the word means a small cottage or annex, self-catering. The Oxford English wordbook defines it as:

A stopping-place, lodging … a furnished or self-catering holiday home, usu. in a rural district.

Call me a “luddite” if you will, but what is wrong with (French-style) self-board holiday home/cot(e)? Or if that’s too overly specific, what about hire holiday home?

I think gîte, even without its little letter-hat (gite), is needless,  pretentious, dreck.

© 2017 Bryan A. J. Parry

featured image from http://www.hotel-r.net/im/hotel/fr/gîte-61.jpg


Hybrid #PlainEnglish #Anglish #PureEnglish

December 19, 2016

toyota_yaris_hybrid

hybrid (noun) c. 1600, “offspring of plants or animals of different variety or species,” from Latin hybrida, variant of ibrida “mongrel,” specifically “offspring of a tame sow and a wild boar,” of unknown origin but probably from Greek and somehow related to hubris. A rare word before the general sense “anything a product of two heterogeneous things” emerged c. 1850. The adjective is attested from 1716. As a noun meaning “automobile powered by an engine that uses both electricity and gasoline,” 2002, short for hybrid vehicle, etc.

hybridize (verb)

From the Online Etymology Dictionary

We can see indeed from our day-to-day experience that the words hybrid and hybridize are growing in popularity. But what’s wrong with our own Saxon words for these things?

The nameword (noun) is either: cross, crossbreed, or mongrel. I suggest a further word: blendbreed. Obviously, as far as “hybrid” cars go, “cross” is probably the best fit. We might also say half-and-half or half-half cars. And note that mongrel can (but needn’t) have negatives tones, whereas cross and crossbreed are more judgement-free.

The deedword (verb) can therefore either be: cross, crossbreed, and blendbreed.

© 2016 Bryan A. J. Parry

featured image from http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-XggVsuU-4bs/T6c-uQx-47I/AAAAAAAAAJg/2LnX1gmPlV0/s1600/Toyota_Yaris_Hybrid.jpg

 


Vitality

September 5, 2016

Vitality

Me and a mate were chatting with an Albanian guy we met. He mistook my Anglo-Mexican mate for Algerian. That happens to him a lot. I  myself was mistaken for part-Italian. That doesn’t happen a lot. In any case, I’m 100% pure English (read: white with a touch of lobsteritis).*

But despite being a homeland-loving Englishman, I was happy with being mistaken for half-Italian. I didn’t mind being taken for a southern European. Nor would my mate. We wondered aloud on this for a moment. I came to the conclusion that southern Europeans have a kind of… and the word “lifefulness” popped out of my mouth. That is, they’re full of life. Of course, the standard English would be vitality.

Vitality noun Lifefulness
Vital adjective (not in the sense of important) Lifeful

Lifefulness: another nonce word, like shadow-outline, that I think I’m going to use a lot more from now on in.

*My Welsh last name is not from a blood relative… except during Euro 2016, when I told people I was genetically Welsh.

© 2016 Bryan A. J. Parry

featured image from http://cdn.tinybuddha.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/09/Vitality.jpg


A cup of cheeno (A cappuccino): Renaming Coffees

November 2, 2012

So, being a regular southern dandy and wannabe highmind, I drink in coffeeshops all the time, darling. But, even so, I still find coffeeshop jargon to be really irksome. I mean, “venti”… what the hell!? However, the following article should be of interest to people who read my blog. Debenhams have renamed their coffees into “plain” English. Not sure if I agree with the artfulness of their decisions, but here’s the article.

(Before the article, however, I thought I would make the following suggestions:

cafe latte = milky-coffee, milk-coffee

cappuccino = frothy-coffee, froth-coffee

mocha = chocolatey-coffee, chocolate-coffee

espresso = strong black coffee

and of course… small, medium/middle, large/big, instead of tall, venti, and grande)

 

http://uk.lifestyle.yahoo.com/latte-thats-now-really-really-235316170.html

A latte? That’s now a ‘really, really milky coffee’ in Debenhams

TelegraphBy Andrew Trotman | Telegraph – 20 hours ago

Debenhams (Berlin: D2T.BEnews) has vowed to end “coffee confusion” by replacing words such as latte and cappuccino with plain English on its menus.

The British retailer said that more than 70pc of its customers struggle with foreign names of hot drinks, so it decided to get back to basics.

A caffe latte is now called a “really, really milky coffee”, while a cappuccino has become a “frothy coffee”, and a caffe mocha has been changed to a “chocolate flavoured coffee”. Black coffee has been replaced with “simple coffee, with or without milk”, while an espresso is labelled “a shot of strong coffee”.

But Debenhams hasn’t just stopped at its types of coffees. Instead of the tall, grande or venti sizes favoured by big-name shops such as Starbucks (NasdaqGS: SBUXnews) , customers in Debenhams can now simply ask for a cup or mug.

John Baker, director of food services at Debenhams says: “We’re trialling a redesign of our coffee menu in Oxford Street so shoppers spend less time playing coffee Cluedo and more time enjoying their favourite drink.”

The retailer reportedly sells more than 100,000 coffees each week in its 160 cafes and restaurants across the UK and Ireland (Xetra: A0Q8L3news) – double the amount of tea.

Do you struggle with coffee names?


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