Laurence Horn laurence.horn at YALE.EDU
Tue Aug 26 03:20:14 UTC 2008

At 11:09 PM -0400 8/25/08, Laurence Horn wrote:
>apolitical, etc. It means NOT Kilter. Hope that helps.
>But it's hard to imagine "akilter" as involving the Greek privative
>prefix; the Greek derivation gets the morphology/etymology wrong,
>while the Old English adverbial a- prefix seems right for the
>morphology but gets the semantics backward.  If I were Jerry Cohen
>(and perhaps even if I weren't), I'd suggest a blend of "askew" with
>"(out of) kilter".  There is actually a family of similar descriptive
>terms with meanings in the same family--"astray", "askance",
>etc.--and maybe they did somehow attract "akilter" to their perverse

I forgot "akimbo", which has the same morpho-onset as "akilter".  And
"awry" is another morphosemantic relative.


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

More information about the Ads-l mailing list