For Better or for Worse

Benjamin Zimmer bgzimmer at RCI.RUTGERS.EDU
Thu Jan 27 03:53:03 UTC 2005

On Wed, 26 Jan 2005 21:57:48 -0500, Laurence Horn <laurence.horn at YALE.EDU>

>At 9:53 PM -0500 1/26/05, Benjamin Zimmer wrote:
>>This reminds me of the old "grunge speak" hoax that the New York Times
>>fell for: <>.  Perhaps Lynn
>>Johnston was trying to see if she could get some coinages into
>Well, it worked pretty well for "fetch", in real life if not in the
>"Mean Girls" version of Evanston...

And then there's "grotty" from _A Hard Day's Night_...

This word actually came into public use from the film... The word grotty
is a short form of the word grotesque, and many people still believe that
Alun Owen actually invented the word, but he denies this and claims that
"Liverpool invented the word". According to Owen, there was some famous
character in Liverpool called "Grotty G.", who was called that because she
seemed grotesque to other people. And since "everything gets abbreviated
in Liverpool", as Owen put it, the word grotesque simply turned into the
word grotty (The Beatles, Making).

Ah-- I see this was discussed on the list back in 2002:

--Ben Zimmer

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