a whole other question

Laurence Horn laurence.horn at YALE.EDU
Fri Oct 11 01:31:37 UTC 2002

At 9:11 PM -0400 10/10/02, Wendalyn Nichols wrote:
>Lifted wholesale from Jesse's answer to this question on his Word of the
>Day website in 1996:
>The word "nother," which simply means 'other; different', comes from a
>misdivision of "an other" or "another. This type of misdivision has several
>parallels in English. The word "newt" was originally "ewte" in Middle
>English, but the phrase "an ewte" was changed to "a newt." Similarly,
>"nickname" was originally "an ekename" ("eke" being an archaic word for
>'also' that still pops up from time to time), but was misdivided as "a
>nekename." In the other direction, "apron" was once "napron," but "a
>napron" was turned into "an apron."

Aha.  Great minds thinking alike, I see.  To the examples of
"metanalysis" or misdivision (I tend to prefer the former term as a
bit more morally neutral) that I cited earlier and Jesse cites here,
a couple overlapping, one more of interest to the list is the "nonce"
of "nonce word", derived from "once".  The OED's etymology of "nonce"
alludes to "(n)ewt" as the locus classicus--maybe we might call all
such metanalysands "salamandronyms".  Or not.


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