One-syllable words with specific technical or rare meanings

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One-syllable words with specific technical or rare meanings

Post by Xephyr »

English sure does have a lot of one-syllable words. What are some good ones, that have really uncommon meanings?

My favorite is "trach"-- to stab a hollow tube through someone's trachea thus allowing them to breathe if their upper windpipe is blocked. More or less. (Wiktionary lists it only as a noun, but Wiktionary is wrong.)
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Re: One-syllable words with specific technical or rare meani

Post by con quesa »

con quesa- firm believer in the right of Spanish cheese to be female if she so chooses

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Re: One-syllable words with specific technical or rare meani

Post by Radius Solis »

There is also, of course, the bleb.

Edit: oh, and screed. But we all know what a screed is, right? right?

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Re: One-syllable words with specific technical or rare meani

Post by clawgrip »

Doesn't quite fit the topic, but I've always found it a bit strange that "cormorant" in Japanese is u. It's just so short!

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Re: One-syllable words with specific technical or rare meani

Post by Salmoneus »

This is the only good reason to open a copy of the Daily Mail. They have (or had?) 'the world's smallest, hardest crossword', made up of words of up to four letters. It's pretty much impossible without the aid of a very extensive dictionary.

EDIT: google, for instance, gives me some clues from the crossword that people were looking for help with: 'serpent-lizard' (seps), and '12c and 13c court circuit' (eyre).
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Re: One-syllable words with specific technical or rare meani

Post by Grimalkin »

Radius Solis wrote:
Edit: oh, and screed. But we all know what a screed is, right? right?


This made me think of screeve, which is rarely used outside the context of Georgian grammar.

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Re: One-syllable words with specific technical or rare meani

Post by Hallow XIII »

Ane wrote:
Radius Solis wrote:
Edit: oh, and screed. But we all know what a screed is, right? right?


This made me think of screeve, which is rarely used outside the context of Georgian grammar.

If by rarely used you mean non-existent.
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Re: One-syllable words with specific technical or rare meani

Post by Grimalkin »

Yes.

Wiktionary says it's also a verb meaning 'to write' but I've never seen or heard it used in that way.

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Re: One-syllable words with specific technical or rare meani

Post by Hallow XIII »

Ane wrote:Yes.

Wiktionary says it's also a verb meaning 'to write' but I've never seen or heard it used in that way.


It may be Scots. It sounds highly similar to scrìobh.
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Re: One-syllable words with specific technical or rare meani

Post by Salmoneus »

Hallow XIII wrote:
Ane wrote:Yes.

Wiktionary says it's also a verb meaning 'to write' but I've never seen or heard it used in that way.


It may be Scots. It sounds highly similar to scrìobh.


*bangs head on table*

Or, you know, to Latin 'scribere'? Intervocalic voiced stops lenite to fricatives in many romance languages. And indeed whatever the ancestor of German 'schreiben' is - sure you can find something germanic that sounds very similar.

Anyway, I agree that 'screeve' meaning 'to write' isn't really used, but you do occasionally see the participle, 'scriven'. 'Scrivener' is an old word for a scribe - a word you don't encounter in daily life, but that does crop up in mediaeval settings now and then. You also sometimes see 'screever', though it's now mostly used for artists rather than writers.

EDIT: Regarding the georgian meaning: you sometimes see it used in conlanging, for merged or fused TAM(etc)-paradigms (I've used it this way myself), but I don't know whether it's ever found for that purpose in linguistics. It certainly ought to be, it's a useful word!
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Re: One-syllable words with specific technical or rare meani

Post by clawgrip »

I have heard scrivener used as a translation for a legal position that seems to be particular to Japan and South Korea.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Judicial_scrivener

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Re: One-syllable words with specific technical or rare meani

Post by Hallow XIII »

Erm, yes, ultimately. I merely suggested an intermediate step. There's no reason to bang your head on the table. As for why Scots, West Germanic doesn't lenite the b, and French, which is the primary romance contributor to English, lenites it so much that it disappears. Meanwhile, both North Germanic and Celtic languages like to have /v/ or /f/ in that position, two influences that like to be felt especially strongly in Scotland. Turns out, it's Italian, of course, but that's still not a reason to act all exasperated.
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Re: One-syllable words with specific technical or rare meani

Post by Nortaneous »

Salmoneus wrote:EDIT: Regarding the georgian meaning: you sometimes see it used in conlanging, for merged or fused TAM(etc)-paradigms (I've used it this way myself), but I don't know whether it's ever found for that purpose in linguistics. It certainly ought to be, it's a useful word!

It is, but only for Georgian and closely related languages.
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Re: One-syllable words with specific technical or rare meani

Post by Jipí »

Salmoneus wrote:Or, you know, to Latin 'scribere'? Intervocalic voiced stops lenite to fricatives in many romance languages. And indeed whatever the ancestor of German 'schreiben' is - sure you can find something germanic that sounds very similar.

MHG schrîben, OHG scrīban, from Latin scribere 'engrave with a stylus' according to dwds.de.

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Re: One-syllable words with specific technical or rare meani

Post by Nortaneous »

There's 'thede' in certain circles of political theory, but since I'm entirely responsible for that I suppose it doesn't really count.

Hitting Wiktionary:
aal - Indian mulberry
aam - a historical measure of wine from certain regions of the Netherlands and Germany
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Re: One-syllable words with specific technical or rare meani

Post by Rui »

Awl - that thing that shoemakers or whoever used to punch holes in leather. (homophonous with "all" IMD)

Adze - a tool used to shape wood when carving (homophonous with "ads" and "adds" IMD)

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Re: One-syllable words with specific technical or rare meani

Post by Pogostick Man »

EDIT: Fail. Most likely not one-syllable. The aaa, a kind of insect from Hawaii.
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Re: One-syllable words with specific technical or rare meani

Post by pharazon »

spraint
frass (I don't mean to be Shm Jay, I just ran across spraint and then figured there must be some others like it)

Also: sine

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Re: One-syllable words with specific technical or rare meani

Post by Radius Solis »

Linguifex wrote:EDIT: Fail. Most likely not one-syllable. The aaa, a kind of insect from Hawaii.

Make that definitely not.

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Re: One-syllable words with specific technical or rare meani

Post by Rui »

pharazon wrote:Also: sine


That reminds me of one-syllable words used in e.g. abstract algebra that are also commonly used words, but have a specific meaning when it comes to math. For example:

-ring ("an abelian group with a second binary operation that is associative and is distributive over the abelian group operation")
-group ("a set of elements together with an operation that combines any two of its elements to form a third element also in the set while satisfying four conditions called the group axioms, namely closure, associativity, identity and invertibility")

etc. These probably aren't really what we're looking for in this thread though.

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Re: One-syllable words with specific technical or rare meani

Post by pharazon »

Chibi wrote:
pharazon wrote:Also: sine


That reminds me of one-syllable words used in e.g. abstract algebra that are also commonly used words, but have a specific meaning when it comes to math. For example:

-ring ("an abelian group with a second binary operation that is associative and is distributive over the abelian group operation")
-group ("a set of elements together with an operation that combines any two of its elements to form a third element also in the set while satisfying four conditions called the group axioms, namely closure, associativity, identity and invertibility")

etc. These probably aren't really what we're looking for in this thread though.


I thought of those too, but yes, they aren't the right thing. Then I thought of rngs and rigs, but the names are so hokey and no one actually thinks about rngs and rigs anyway.

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Re: One-syllable words with specific technical or rare meani

Post by Radius Solis »

Oh, I just remembered: vog. A terrible blend of a blend (smoke + fog = smog, then "volcanic smog" = vog)... but unfortunately the word is actually used, for example in the published papers of volcanologists.

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Re: One-syllable words with specific technical or rare meani

Post by Dewrad »

spile n. A small wooden peg used to control the flow of air into, and carbon dioxide out of, a cask of ale.
shive n. The hole in the side of a cask of ale into which a spile is inserted.
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Re: One-syllable words with specific technical or rare meani

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swyve

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Re: One-syllable words with specific technical or rare meani

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chyme

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