Mark A. Mandel mamandel at LDC.UPENN.EDU
Wed Jan 21 01:19:58 UTC 2004

I asked for a definition of "boney-ize", for which Barry submitted a
cite. Doug Wilson wrote:

> This would seem to be a variant of "boney" (v. t.) (also "boney-eye")
> = "claim possession of" (in DARE).


> Etymology? From Napoleon's name? (^_^)

So I wondered, too, but (1) why? and (2) it's still just speculation.

But we now have a connection for the last syllable, relevant to Barry's
request for spelling info. Did the woman mean "boney-eyes"? Did the
person she heard it from, or someone earlier in the chain of
transmission, say "boney-eyes" which was reinterpreted as "boney-ize"?
(And how many untraceable times might the reinterpration have gone there
and back again?)

-- Mark A. Mandel
   Linguistic Data Consortium, University of Pennsylvania

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