Jim Parish jparish at SIUE.EDU
Tue Aug 11 17:21:02 UTC 2009

Arnold Zwicky wrote:
> the wikipedia entry mentions some adjectives: the well-established
> preggers, bonkers, crackers, and starkers 'stark naked' (which i
> should have recalled), plus the rarer skinters 'low on funds' and
> butters 'ugly'.

I find it interesting that this construction is identified as BrE, and
specifically Oxonian. "Bonkers" and "crackers" are part of my active
vocabulary. "Preggers" isn't, but I've seen it used - once on a test paper
handed in by one of my students, resident, like me, in the St. Louis
metro area. "Starkers" I also recognized, although I can only remember
seeing it once - in an issue of "Fantastic Four" from the early '80s, put
in the mouth of a New Yorker named Frankie Raye. (A little research,
however, reveals that the author of that issue was John Byrne, who was
British-born and moved to Canada at  the age of eight.)

Jim Parish

The American Dialect Society -

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