u_top picture

From the Word Fugitives archive...

Everything's relative

Please note: This page is a read-only archive of messages posted in the Word Fugitives conference of Post & Riposte.


TOP | Post | Reply | Reply/Quote | Email Reply | Delete | Edit
Previous | Next | Previous Topic | Next Topic
Topic: 5) Everything's relative (1 of 8), Read 68 times
Conf: Word Fugitives, with Barbara Wallraff
From: Wen Stephenson (wen@theatlantic.com)
Date: Wednesday, May 26, 1999 10:33 AM

Tom Vogl, of West Tisbury, Mass., writes: "Here are three words that are badly needed in today's society: 'Avuncular' is 'like an uncle'; what is a word for 'like an aunt'? Also needed are words for 'like a grandmother' and 'like a grandfather.'"

P.S. Barbara Wallraff is momentarily without Internet access. She'll be back soon.
-Wen Stephenson

TOP | Post | Reply | Reply/Quote | Email Reply | Delete | Edit
Previous | Next | Previous Topic | Next Topic
Topic: 5) Everything's relative (2 of 8), Read 67 times
Conf: Word Fugitives, with Barbara Wallraff
From: Roger Gay (roger.f.gay@telia.se)
Date: Wednesday, May 26, 1999 11:34 AM

avuncular is derived from latin for mother's brother.

Etymology of uncle: Middle English, from Old French, from Latin avunculus mother's brother; akin to Old English Eam uncle, Welsh ewythr uncle, Latin avus grandfather

You can see we're part way home in dealing with grandfather; something from the latin avus. If we modify it in the same way as avunculus --> avuncular, we get avar

For aunt-like;

Etymology of aunt: Middle English, from Old French ante, from Latin amita; akin to Old High German amma mother, nurse, Greek amma nurse

amitar --- but I'm not sure -- maybe that should be genderized in some other way. amitas or amitor or whatever. (Sounds like a transformer. Amitor the destroyer.)

For grandmother, maybe ammar. ("Nurse" by the say is called "sister" in some places. Now let's really get confused.)

TOP | Post | Reply | Reply/Quote | Email Reply | Delete | Edit
Previous | Next | Previous Topic | Next Topic
Topic: 5) Everything's relative (3 of 8), Read 47 times
Conf: Word Fugitives, with Barbara Wallraff
From: MARY HARES (haresm@aol.com)
Date: Thursday, May 27, 1999 10:22 AM

What a wealth of learning is revealed by these responses. Thanks, all you guys.

As the match of avuncular, I propose 'aunticular'. It has no pretensions to actual historical descent from anything, but it has a nice comic sound resemblance.

TOP | Post | Reply | Reply/Quote | Email Reply | Delete | Edit
Previous | Next | Previous Topic | Next Topic
Topic: 5) Everything's relative (4 of 8), Read 42 times
Conf: Word Fugitives, with Barbara Wallraff
From: Roger Gay (roger.f.gay@telia.se)
Date: Friday, May 28, 1999 05:17 AM

Does this mean we can make up jokes about things in aunticularity?

TOP | Post | Reply | Reply/Quote | Email Reply | Delete | Edit
Previous | Next | Previous Topic | Next Topic
Topic: 5) Everything's relative (5 of 8), Read 57 times
Conf: Word Fugitives, with Barbara Wallraff
From: Michael Fischer (tsuwm@aol.com)
Date: Wednesday, May 26, 1999 09:05 PM

for "like an aunt", try materteral; from the Latin matertera, maternal aunt.

TOP | Post | Reply | Reply/Quote | Email Reply | Delete | Edit
Previous | Next | Previous Topic | Next Topic
Topic: 5) Everything's relative (6 of 8), Read 53 times
Conf: Word Fugitives, with Barbara Wallraff
From: Rus Bowden (lowelldude@aol.com)
Date: Wednesday, May 26, 1999 09:32 PM

Here are the ones for like a grandmother and like a grandfather:

From Webster Dictionary, 1913

At
http://machaut.uchicago.edu/cgi-bin/WEBSTER.sh?WORD=grandmotherly

Grandmotherly (Page: 644)
Grand"moth"er*ly, a. Like a grandmother in age or manner; kind; indulgent.

At http://machaut.uchicago.edu/cgi-bin/WEBSTER.sh?WORD=grandfatherly

Grandfatherly (Page: 644)
Grand"fa"ther*ly, a. Like a grandfather in age or manner; kind; benignant; indulgent.

He was a grandfatherly sort of personage. Hawthorne.

And from The Wordsmyth English Dictionary-Thesaurus

At http://machaut.uchicago.edu/cgi-bin/WEDT1.sh?word=grandmotherly&searchtype=default&constraint=1

grandmotherly
SYL: grand-moth-er-ly
PRO: graend muh dhEr li
POS: adjective
DEF: 1. of or concerning a grandmother or grandmothers.
DEF: 2. having qualities considered normal for grandmothers, such as amused tolerance.

At http://machaut.uchicago.edu/cgi-bin/WEDT1.sh?word=grandfatherly&searchtype=default&constraint=1

grandfatherly
SYL: grand-fath-er-ly
PRO: graend fa dhEr li
POS: adjective
DEF: 1. of or concerning a grandfather or grandfathers.
DEF: 2. having qualities considered normal for grandfathers, such as the wisdom of experience



TOP | Post | Reply | Reply/Quote | Email Reply | Delete | Edit
Previous | Next | Previous Topic | Next Topic
Topic: 5) Everything's relative (7 of 8), Read 49 times
Conf: Word Fugitives, with Barbara Wallraff
From: Rus Bowden (lowelldude@aol.com)
Date: Thursday, May 27, 1999 07:55 AM

Following up on my train of thought for "grandmotherly" and "grandfatherly", I did searches in Google, Snap and AltaVista for "auntly", and sure enough, it's in use. There is also a second word, "auntlike", that this searching netted. Here are two of the sources:

UNIVERSITY OF WALES PRESS
The Welsh Academy English-Welsh Dictionary
http://www.swan.ac.uk/uwp/wa107.htm
auntlike, auntly a. modrybaidd.

Inside Medicine's
Words, Words, and More Words!!
http://www.insidemedicine.com/words.html
auntlike, auntly.

Note: I just backpaged after doing a spell check. The spell check accepted both "auntly" and "auntlike".


TOP | Post | Reply | Reply/Quote | Email Reply | Delete | Edit
Previous | Next | Previous Topic | Next Topic
Topic: 5) Everything's relative (8 of 8), Read 46 times
Conf: Word Fugitives, with Barbara Wallraff
From: Michael Fischer (tsuwm@aol.com)
Date: Thursday, May 27, 1999 10:58 AM

well, okay... but I think I still prefer avuncular to uncly.


Return to the
Court Record index.

Return to the Word Fugitives main page.

Copyright © 1999 by The Atlantic Monthly Company.
Cover Atlantic Unbound The Atlantic Monthly Post & Riposte Atlantic Store Search