Mark Mandel thnidu at GMAIL.COM
Thu Aug 20 03:59:19 UTC 2009

"Distinguo, Tollers, distinguo!" -- said to have often been heard from C.S.
Lewis in debate with J.R.R.Tolkien in their Oxford years. "I disagree!",
with "Tollers" as the standard Oxonian nickname < Tolkien.

My source is probably a biographhhy of one man or the other. The title's
long past ready recall, but not that phrase!

m a m

On Tue, Aug 11, 2009 at 2:12 PM, Arnold Zwicky <zwicky at> wrote:

> On Aug 11, 2009, at 10:21 AM, Jim Parish wrote:
> > 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.
> well, Oxonian in its origin.  some of these items are now widespread
> in colloquial British English.
> but identifying some item as "British" (or "Southern" or "New Yorker"
> or whatever) is not a claim that it occurs *only* in some group of
> speakers (or that everyone in that group uses it).  it's just a claim
> that the item occurs *primarily* in that group.
> in the case of British and American English, there's quite a lot of
> spreading of items in each direction, so it's no great surprise to
> find some Americans using "British" items (and vice versa) on
> occasion.  and then, of course, over time the items can spread in
> their "new" locations.
> arnold
> ------------------------------------------------------------
> The American Dialect Society -

The American Dialect Society -

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