On open/opened

Douglas G. Wilson douglas at NB.NET
Sun May 20 07:42:45 UTC 2001

>The examples that Doug cites for "close" as an attributive look more like
>forms that may have just lost their /d/ rather than genuine original uses
>of a pure adjective "close".

I don't think "close" /klous/ (meaning "closed") came from "closed" by
dropping "-d". I think this "close" < French "clos" (meaning "closed") (<
Latin participle "clausus").

OED shows for example (ca. 1325): "Wyth y3en open & mouth ful clos" ... I
guess = "With eyes open and mouth full close".

Indeed we have "closemouthed" (not "closedmouthed") ... and also
"closefisted" (as the opposite of "openhanded" more or less). Both of these
are generally pronounced with /klous/, not with /klouz/, FWIW.

OED also shows (in the same sense) (1502) "close carre", (1547) "close
house", (1688) "close hand", etc.

I suppose this adjective in this sense has been largely supplanted by
"closed" because of ambiguity ("close" also = "nearby").

-- Doug Wilson

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