Laurence Horn laurence.horn at YALE.EDU
Wed Jul 15 18:27:49 UTC 2009

And apparently hedgehogs qualify for the discount too, along with echinoderms.


At 1:22 PM -0400 7/15/09, George Thompson wrote:
>I myself don't connect urchins with nautical themes.
>I've heard it, used it, maybe, as a teasing word for a little kid;
>since I wasn't around in 1556, I don't remember when it was a hip
>new meaning of the old word for hedgehog.
>5. a. A little fellow; a boy or youngster; a child or infant.
>I only hope that the ferry-folk didn't have in mind OED's sense 5c
>c. transf. An offspring of hell, etc. Obs. rare.
>George A. Thompson
>Author of A Documentary History of "The African Theatre",
>Northwestern Univ. Pr., 1998, but nothing much lately.
>----- Original Message -----
>From: Amy West <medievalist at W-STS.COM>
>Date: Wednesday, July 15, 2009 11:42 am
>Subject: Re: urchin
>>  Maybe they chose "urchin" to go along with the nautical theme on the
>>  ferry? (Personally, I like it.)
>>  ---Amy West
>>  >Date:    Tue, 14 Jul 2009 01:04:29 -0500
>>  >From:    Clai Rice <cxr1086 at LOUISIANA.EDU>
>>  >Subject: urchin
>>  >
>>  >This evening I purchased a few ferry tickets from Vancouver
>>  >Island to Mayne Island, B.C. The tickets were identical,
>>  >though the child tickets were half fare. The tickets were
>>  >labeled both "Adult" and "Urchin", with the former term
>>  >above the latter but both in the same size font. Considering
>>  >the function of the tickets, and the positioning of the
>>  >words, we figured that the word "urchin" meant "child." Is
>>  >this a standard Canadianism?  The other option is that they
>>  >label the tickets each day with an unusual word as a
>>  >counterfeit prevention, which wouldn't be nearly as much
>>  >fun.  To my surprise, the ticket collector insisted on
>>  >taking the entire ticket, so I couldn't keep a copy. But now
>>  >I'm thinking of going back to Victoria later in the week, so
>>  >I'll be able to  check the tickets and ask the agents if
>>  >they think urchin means child.
>>  >
>>  >Not that my children aren't urchins.
>>  >
>>  >Clai Rice
>>  ------------------------------------------------------------
>>  The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org
>The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

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

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