'word' words

Amy West medievalist at W-STS.COM
Fri May 2 14:15:55 UTC 2008

I realized yesterday that "hissy fit" is one of those word-word pairs.

Now, I've seen a quote from F.M. Kelly (armor historian) dismissing
the 19th c. term "chain mail" (which could be one of those word-word
pairs) as a "neoplasm". (I've seen the quote in the .sig of someone
on the Mediev-L list.) [His explanation for calling it a "neoplasm"
is that both parts of the term mean/refer to the same thing.][He
labels "scale mail" and "plate mail" as ridiculous non-sensical

---Amy West

>Date:    Thu, 1 May 2008 14:38:25 -0400
>From:    "Baker, John" <JMB at STRADLEY.COM>
>Subject: Re: 'word' words
>         As someone else mentioned, we have "puppy dog" and "kitty cat,"
>forms of diminutive reduplication associated with children's speech.
>"Moo-cow" seems to me to be similar, though it isn't really

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

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