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QI Words and Etymology

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suze
137657.  Mon Jan 22, 2007 10:54 am Reply with quote

Ooh thanks Ali - I've not seen that before, and it even comes from my home province! Certainly does make entering IPA rather easier. All we need now is for everyone who uses these forums to understand the stuff and have a suitable font on board (Doulos SIL for me, whatever one thinks about the Summer Institute of Linguistics), and we're laughing ...

Samivel, that was my first thought too. But in fact it is still there - the reason I didn't find it before is that it was so long ago that I didn't have my own user name yet and was posting under that of my then partner (now husband).

post 42116 et seq refer.

 
samivel
137663.  Mon Jan 22, 2007 10:58 am Reply with quote

Ah, I'd forgotten you did that originally.

 
stuart
173791.  Sat May 12, 2007 11:53 am Reply with quote

My current favourite bit of etymology – and not only QI, but quite applicable to one of the pictures of Alan I'm sat opposite in the QI Bar – is the origin of the word dunce.

The origin is in Dunsman, a follower of Duns Scotus (John Duns, d. 1308), a Franciscan theologian who resurrected the Socratic method and pursued enquiry through careful, detailed questioning of every proposition. As a result Dunsman, and later Dunce came to be used perjoratively, indicating someone who asked pedantic questions. Pedantic questions became useless questions, and thus associated with ignorance. So, the word has entirely flipped its meaning from someone of high intelligence to one of extremely low. A cautionary tale, I feel...

 
Jenny
614983.  Fri Sep 18, 2009 12:11 pm Reply with quote

I've edited this thread to read Words and Etymology rather than just Etymology - seems to create a bit more space in it.

 
zomgmouse
615203.  Fri Sep 18, 2009 8:00 pm Reply with quote

The word "curmudgeon" comes from Scottish, meaning to mumble or to grumble. That it comes from the French "coeur méchant" is a popular misconception.

 
Ian Dunn
741505.  Thu Sep 09, 2010 4:44 am Reply with quote

I've just come across this brilliant column from The New York Times - "Schott's Vocab", a column devoted to odd words written by Ben Schott, the creator of the famous series of almanacs.

Today's word is "xenagogue" - "One who conducts strangers; a guide. So xenagogy, conduction of strangers: used as the title of a guide-book."

 
Ian Dunn
746122.  Fri Sep 24, 2010 12:48 pm Reply with quote

Qutopia - coined by Winston Churchill. A qutopia is a communist country were the people have to que endlessly for everything.

 
Bondee
746141.  Fri Sep 24, 2010 2:59 pm Reply with quote

Ian Dunn wrote:
Qutopia - coined by Winston Churchill. A qutopia is a communist country were the people have to que endlessly for everything.


Que?

 
Ian Dunn
746144.  Fri Sep 24, 2010 3:05 pm Reply with quote

Bondee wrote:
Ian Dunn wrote:
Qutopia - coined by Winston Churchill. A qutopia is a communist country were the people have to que endlessly for everything.


Que?


Sorry, I'm guessing it is "cutopia".

 
Spud McLaren
746149.  Fri Sep 24, 2010 3:21 pm Reply with quote

Queuetopia?

Doesn't look right...

 
Efros
746150.  Fri Sep 24, 2010 3:34 pm Reply with quote

Queuetopia looks fine to me, qutopia seems to be used by quizzing types.

Time says "Some of Attlee's followers called it Socialism; some called it "fair shares for all"; some called it the welfare state. Winston Churchill last week scornfully snarled out another name for it: "Queuetopia." Spendthrift's End?"

 
Zebra57
746184.  Fri Sep 24, 2010 7:26 pm Reply with quote

The origin of the word Quiz is often attributed to a bet made by a Dubliner Richard Daly. He claimed that in two days he could make up a word which had no meaning and that the good people of Dublin would accept it.

However the word already appeared in use to described a type of toy and also a strange type of person.

 
dr bartolo
746400.  Sat Sep 25, 2010 12:59 pm Reply with quote

or perhaps from a contraction of que es?

 
Spud McLaren
746403.  Sat Sep 25, 2010 1:04 pm Reply with quote

dr bartolo wrote:
or perhaps from a contraction of que es?
I see - what is it?, or ...a whatsit.

 
zomgmouse
746469.  Sat Sep 25, 2010 10:38 pm Reply with quote

While reading Moby Dick, I found out that "willy-nilly" comes from "will I nill I", roughly meaning "indecisive".
Also that "frenzy" used to be spelled "phrensy".

 

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