"Word" words?

Laurence Horn laurence.horn at YALE.EDU
Mon Apr 28 18:52:35 UTC 2008

At 2:40 PM -0400 4/28/08, Joel S. Berson wrote:
>Don't restaurant menus generally leave the word "fish" out?

Depends on context.  "Baked cod" rather than "Baked codfish" but
"Codfish cakes" rather than "Cod cakes".


>At 4/28/2008 11:32 AM, Laurence Horn wrote:
>>At 11:58 PM -0400 4/27/08, James Harbeck wrote:
>>>>One of the few pleasures of living on the East Coast is being able to
>>>>use "tunafish," again.
>>>Go farther east to Newfoundland and you'll encounter a new style of
>>>meaning for "fish". In Nfld, "fish" means "cod" and every other fish
>>>is specified. I was in a restaurant in St. John's and asked about one
>>>menu item, "What kind of fish is it?" The answer was "Fresh." The
>>>alternative, as it happens, would have been "Salt." Cod can be either
>>>fresh or salted. But if it weren't cod, they would have said so in
>>>the first place.
>>Nice to know.  And for us non-Nufis, "codfish" is another instance of
>>the phenomenon under discussion.  Curiously, though, *"scrodfish" is
>>not--at least I've never heard it, even though scrod is a kind of cod
>>(when it isn't figuring as the imperfect subjunctive of a certain
>>verb in the punch line of a certain joke).
>>The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org
>The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

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