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One-syllable words with specific technical or rare meanings
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Author:  Xephyr [ Wed May 22, 2013 1:48 am ]
Post subject:  One-syllable words with specific technical or rare meanings

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.)

Author:  con quesa [ Wed May 22, 2013 1:50 am ]
Post subject:  Re: One-syllable words with specific technical or rare meani

"In mathematics, a spline is a sufficiently smooth polynomial function that is piecewise-defined, and possesses a high degree of smoothness at the places where the polynomial pieces connect (which are known as knots)."

Author:  Radius Solis [ Wed May 22, 2013 1:50 am ]
Post subject:  Re: One-syllable words with specific technical or rare meani

There is also, of course, the bleb.

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

Author:  clawgrip [ Wed May 22, 2013 2:07 am ]
Post subject:  Re: One-syllable words with specific technical or rare meani

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!

Author:  Salmoneus [ Wed May 22, 2013 6:22 am ]
Post subject:  Re: One-syllable words with specific technical or rare meani

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).

Author:  Grimalkin [ Thu May 23, 2013 5:32 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: One-syllable words with specific technical or rare meani

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.

Author:  Hallow XIII [ Thu May 23, 2013 5:33 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: One-syllable words with specific technical or rare meani

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.

Author:  Grimalkin [ Thu May 23, 2013 6:04 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: One-syllable words with specific technical or rare meani

Yes.

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

Author:  Hallow XIII [ Thu May 23, 2013 6:05 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: One-syllable words with specific technical or rare meani

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.

Author:  Salmoneus [ Thu May 23, 2013 6:52 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: One-syllable words with specific technical or rare meani

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!

Author:  clawgrip [ Thu May 23, 2013 7:22 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: One-syllable words with specific technical or rare meani

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

Author:  Hallow XIII [ Thu May 23, 2013 7:39 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: One-syllable words with specific technical or rare meani

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.

Author:  Nortaneous [ Fri May 24, 2013 6:03 am ]
Post subject:  Re: One-syllable words with specific technical or rare meani

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.

Author:  Jipí [ Fri May 24, 2013 7:37 am ]
Post subject:  Re: One-syllable words with specific technical or rare meani

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.

Author:  Nortaneous [ Fri May 24, 2013 9:51 am ]
Post subject:  Re: One-syllable words with specific technical or rare meani

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

Author:  Rui [ Fri May 24, 2013 10:32 am ]
Post subject:  Re: One-syllable words with specific technical or rare meani

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)

Author:  Pogostick Man [ Fri May 24, 2013 6:43 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: One-syllable words with specific technical or rare meani

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

Author:  pharazon [ Sat May 25, 2013 11:16 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: One-syllable words with specific technical or rare meani

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

Author:  Radius Solis [ Sat May 25, 2013 11:17 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: One-syllable words with specific technical or rare meani

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

Make that definitely not.

Author:  Rui [ Sun May 26, 2013 12:02 am ]
Post subject:  Re: One-syllable words with specific technical or rare meani

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.

Author:  pharazon [ Sun May 26, 2013 12:32 am ]
Post subject:  Re: One-syllable words with specific technical or rare meani

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.

Author:  Radius Solis [ Sun May 26, 2013 4:24 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: One-syllable words with specific technical or rare meani

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.

Author:  Dewrad [ Sun May 26, 2013 5:21 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: One-syllable words with specific technical or rare meani

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.

Author:  Shm Jay [ Sun May 26, 2013 8:19 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: One-syllable words with specific technical or rare meani

swyve

Author:  Radius Solis [ Mon May 27, 2013 2:23 am ]
Post subject:  Re: One-syllable words with specific technical or rare meani

chyme

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