Arnold Zwicky zwicky at STANFORD.EDU
Wed Aug 5 15:07:49 UTC 2009

On Aug 5, 2009, at 6:44 AM, Jon Lighter wrote:

> Yeah, but "beknown" is called "archaic," and the 1876 "beholden" is
> from a
> book called _Modern English_.
> My mother and grandmother used to say "beholden" all the time...
> On Wed, Aug 5, 2009 at 9:03 AM, Joel S. Berson <Berson at> wrote:
>> At 8/5/2009 08:45 AM, Jonathan Lighter wrote:
>>> The final OED ex. is from 1865.
>>> But how did they miss this?:
>>> 2006
>>> : i believe john ireland made his name beknown in this film.
>> They must have been sleeping though Katharine Hepburn movies.  After
>> all, she said "beholden" in "Philadelphia Story" in 1938 and again in
>> 1940, and the final OED ex. for that is from 1873.

i'm baffled by this exchange.  why is "beholden" (dialectal/informal,
but still current) being discussed in a thread about "beknown"?
"beknown" is at best rare these days, and it's not even clear that
when it occurs it's a survival of the older verb form, rather than an
innovation on the basis of "unbeknownst", "renowned", analytic "be
known", etc.

but here's a further example i found:

   Please understand we have been selling these brands for a decade
and have few, if any unhappy customers who have made themselves
beknown to us (with a total sample size of thousands!) or returns...
so please don't be unduly alarmed!


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