Dingo the Dissident

THE BLOG OF DISQUIET : Qweir Notions in the Armpit of Diogenes by DINGO the DISSIDENT binge-thinker since February 2008.

Wednesday, 29 September 2021

Negative bias.

Once we could be ruly, couth, pecunious
mayed, ept, gruntled and so on,
but now we can only be their opposites.


1 comment:

Wofl said...


This blog was written in jest. In fact, following :

Once we could indeed have been ruly or pecunious (although I'm not sure I would want to have been ruly) https://www.etymonline.com/search?q=ruly
https://www.etymonline.com/search?q=pecunious

'Couth' was indeed a word. But it didn't mean the opposite of 'uncouth' (or anything like) and was replaced by 'could'. As the antonym of uncouth it is a back-formation of 1896:
https://www.etymonline.com/search?q=couth

On the other hand 'couthie' in Scots means 'kindly', 'comfortable' or 'snug'.

Ept and gruntled are both back-formations coined in 1938:
https://www.etymonline.com/search?q=ept
https://www.etymonline.com/search?q=gruntled

While 'dismayed' was never an antonym of 'mayed' as the 'dis-' is an intensifier https://www.etymonline.com/search?q=dismayed

'Clement', however is a proper word, used, like 'inclement', to describe weather. Though curiously 'now is used only in negation and only of the weather.' It is of course a proper name, notably of several popes.

https://www.etymonline.com/search?q=clement

That link also sheds light on the naming of clementines.