albatross (was Re: submariner)

Laurence Horn laurence.horn at YALE.EDU
Sun Jul 15 14:19:24 UTC 2007

At 9:55 AM -0400 7/15/07, Wilson Gray wrote:
>I Googled Submariner/Sub-Mariner and got only various Stan Lee'd
>versions of him that were nothing like the WWII Submariner, who looked
>far less human. Also, not such a big deal was made of his real name.
>He was "Submariiner" as "Superman" is "Superman" and not "Jor-El, Jr."
>I went with SubmaREEner, till my mother corrected it to SubMARiner.
>She was down with Southernisms, but not with "mispronunciations."
>"(The Rime of the Ancient) Mariner" nailed the ceiling to the roof,
>for me.
OK, enough Submariners for me.  I was never into this particular bit
of pop-cultural arcana (as opposed to Superman, Jor-El & Co.),
besides which if memory serves we only morphed into this thread
because someone wrote in a truncated version of a request to
subscribe to the list, so I'll take the opportunity to shift threads,
prompted by Wilson's association at the end.  Is the primary current
meaning of _albatross_ (sense 2b in the OED entry, senses 2a,b in
AHD4) the only example of such a primary sense arising through a
metaphorical association from a particular poem?  (Incidentally,
_albatross_ itself sports a wonderful pre-Coleridgian etymology, from
back when it managed to escape from Alcatraz.)

LH, also recalling that 50's-era description of the Pittsburgh
Pirates' infield as "the Ancient Mariner infield" because it stoppeth
one of three.

The American Dialect Society -

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