usage of the creek

Bonus! today's invented usage is actually a whole pattern of word formation!

when a friend of mine looked up some other word on urban dictionary, she stumbled across 'mugly,' and was immediately able to figure out its etymology. (we guessed 'mother-fucking ugly,' but the site also lists 'mad ugly,' 'monkey-ugly' and 'man ugly.') at any rate, these formations all have something in common. they all take the onset (first consonant sound or group of consonant sounds) of the first word in a pair and use it to replace the onset of the second word. fans of the movie Mean Girls also encountered this in the word 'fugly,' and if you can guess what that means, then i feel justified in saying that this is a productive morphological process!

it's interesting that in most of these cases, the word-formation combines the first letters of an adverb with the end of an adjective to form a new adjective. also, the 'adverb' in some of the cases i cited above is just a noun placed before the word. this too is a pretty slang-ish usage, i think, and i read it as 'adjective as a noun,' like 'ugly as a monkey.' it also seems possible to derive a new noun by combining an adjective and noun in the same way.

some examples that i found on urban dictionary:
fex (pretty much any consonant followed by -ex is a word, whether by this formation process or not)
mex (the first definition at least)
it's amazing what we have words for. (though more than a few of these did not mean what i expected them to.) a couple use additional morphological processes (changing vowel sounds, inserting another consonant after the onset...) but seem to be based on the main one we're talking about here. also, note that many of them have alternate definitions; for instance, i'm not sure 'f' can be considered a true morpheme since it has multiple meanings ('fake,' 'fucking,' 'female').

another key example is 'crunk,' a term made popular by rap producer lil jon (thank you urbandictionary). i always thought it was an adjective meaning 'crazy drunk,' since it has similar distribution distribution to 'drunk.' but, as evidenced by the contention on urban dictionary, the word has beaucoup de ambiguity. whereas 'drunk' (almost) exclusively applies to people, one can go to a 'crunk party,' and some claim there is a genre of music by the same name. there are also claims circulating that 'crunk' is a mix of 'chronic' and 'drunk,' and means to use alcohol and marijuana at the same time.

despite these ambiguities and alternate definitions, it's important to note that upon being introduced to a novel word a speaker of english slang can propose a systematic formation process. after hearing any one of these words we can create infinitely many more, whether we know the 'true meaning' or 'actual' formation process of the original example or not. after all, one example does not a pattern make. that is, it's possible that a morphological process actually becomes systematic for the first time when we try to come up with a coherent explanation for how morphology relates to meaning and then use the process (which the hearer has imagined!) to create more words. it's just possible.


Seb said...

About "f-"

is there no word for the morphological equivalent of a homonym?

Cristi said...

good question... i wish i knew!

i guess the important thing about both of them is that, because they exist, they cast doubt on the etymological patterns we postulate and then use.

that is, if someone hears 'fangsta' and knows by context or definition that it means a 'fake gangsta,' he or she might assume that 'f-' always means 'fake,' and go on to produce new words that make use of only that meaning of 'f-'.

i think there are other examples of this in more traditional morphology. the one that springs to mind is the famous 'flammable and inflammable mean the same thing.' most people assume that 'in-' always means 'not,' and that 'inflammable' therefore means 'not flammable.' my guess is that this occurred through a different word-formation process where 'inflame' was added to '-able'. but people likely can and do use 'inflammable' to mean 'not flammable.'

not sure where i'm going with this. interesting, though.

Celia said...

This article is fantastic; the information you show us is very interesting and is really good written. It’s just great!! Do you want to know something more? Read it... Glass Bongs and Bong featuring Herbal Smoke, water bongs, bongs online head shop, Marijuana Alternative,glass water bongs, Hashish, Ganja, homemade bongs, Smokeshop, cannibis, legal smoking alternatives for herbal highs and aphrodisia. http://www.headshopinternational.com

truck tires said...

companies marketing mineral makeups and also get the best bargains in mineral makeup you can imagine,
find aout how to consolidate your students loans or just how to lower your actual rates.,
looking for breast enlargements? in Rochester,
homeopathy for eczema learn about it.,
Allergies, information about lipitor,
save big with great bargains in mineral makeup,

change edition interviewing motivational people preparing second

interviewing motivational people preparing second time

interviewing people motivational preparing for a second time

black mold exposure

black mold exposure symptoms

black mold symptoms of exposure

free job interview questions

free job interview answers

interview answers to get a job

lookfor hair styles for fine thin hair

search hair styles for fine thin hair

hair styles for fine thin hair

beach resort in the philippines

great beach resort in the philippines

luxury beach resort in the philippines
iron garden gates, here,
iron garden gates,
wrought iron garden gates
, here
wrought iron garden gates
You: The Owner's Manual: An Insider's Guide to the Body That Will Make You Healthier and Younger
eat eating mindless more than think we we why

texturizers here,
black hair texturizer,
find aout how care curly hair,
find about how to care curly hair,
care curly hair,
lipitor rash,
lipitor reactions,
new house ventura california,
the house new houston tx,
new house washington dc,
new house pa philadelphia,
san antonio tx house new,
house new pa philadelphia,
new house washington dc,
new house ventura california,
the house new houston tx,
house new san antonio tx,
the house new houston tx, that you are looking for,
new house ventura california, you need to buy,
new house washington dc,
house new pa philadelphia,
new house san antonio tx,

hair surgery transplant

air filter allergy

refurbished dell laptop computers

hair surgery transplant

air filter allergy

refurbished dell laptop computers

hair surgery transplant

air filter allergy

refurbished dell laptop computers

chocolate esophagus heartburn study

chocolate esophagus heartburn study
be informed,

digestion healing healthy heartburn natural preventing way

digestion healing healthy heartburn natural preventing way
sew skirts, 16simple styles you can make!,
sew what skirts 16 simple styles you,
rebates and discounts on sunsetter awnings,
sunsetter awnings discounts and rebates,
discount on sunsetter awnings

truck and bus tires 12r 22.5, get the best price,
tires truck and bus 12r 22.5 best price,
tires truck bus tires12r 22.5 best price,
plush car seat strap covers,
car seat strap covers,plush,
car seat strap, plush covers,
oscoda voip phone systems, the best!,
oscoda voip the phone system,
oscoda voip phone systems,
exterior iron gates,
oriental wrought iron gates,
powder coated iron garden fencing,

antique hoof said...

black mold exposure,
black mold symptoms of exposure,

wrought iron garden gates,
your next iron garden gates, here,

hair styles for fine thin hair,
search hair styles for fine thin hair,

night vision binoculars,
buy, night vision binoculars,

lipitor reactions,
lipitor reactions,

luxury beach resort in the philippines,
beach resort in the philippines,

homeopathy for baby eczema.,
homeopathy for baby eczema.,

save big with great mineral makeup bargains,
companies marketing mineral makeups,

prodam iphone praha,
Apple prodam iphone praha,

iphone clone cect manual,
manual for iphone clone cect,

fero 52 binoculars night vision,
fero 52 night vision,

best night vision binoculars,
buy, best night vision binoculars,

computer programs to make photo albums,
computer programs, make photo albums,

craftmatic adjustable air bed
craftmatic adjustable air bed, info here

boyd night air bed
boyd night air bed, low price

air bed in wisconsin
best air beds in wisconsin

cloud air inflatable bed
best cloud air inflatable beds

portable sealy air bed
portables, sealy air beds

aluminum rv luggage racks
aluminum made, rv luggage racks

air bed form raised
best air beds form raised

support equipments aircraft
best support equipments for aircrafts

informercials bed air
best, informercials bed air

mattress sized air beds
best mattress sized air bed

antique doorknob identification
antique doorknob, identification tips

troubleshooting dvd player
troubleshooting with the dvd player

flat panel television lcd versus plasma
flat panel television, lcd versus plasma pic the best

causes of economic recession
what are the causes of economic recession

free printable tax forms
free printable IRS tax forms

bed air foam adjustable
bed air adjustable foam

hoof prints antique and unusual equestrian prints
hoof prints, antique equestrian prints

buy adjustable air bed
buy the best adjustable air beds

air bedscanadian stores
air beds, cheap canadian stores

Related Posts with Thumbnails