perfect synonyms

Benjamin Zimmer bgzimmer at BABEL.LING.UPENN.EDU
Fri Jul 10 20:15:50 UTC 2009

On Fri, Jul 10, 2009 at 4:06 PM, Jonathan Lighter  wrote:
> Henry Attwell, in _Notes & Queries_ (7th Ser.) XI, May 23, 1891, p. 406, may
> have been the genius who first identified "gorse" and "furze" as roughly 98
> 44/100 % identical synonyms.  And get ready for this:  he also adduced
> "whin," which, while phonetically not so close, is semantically identical,
> making a "triplet of synonyms" (or "hat trick," for mavens of metaphor).

We talked about gorse, furze, and whin back in Mar. '05...

--Ben Zimmer

The American Dialect Society -

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