Endangered specie (coinages)

Larry Sheldon LarrySheldon at COX.NET
Mon Mar 12 15:18:27 UTC 2012

On 3/12/2012 5:45 AM, Garson O'Toole wrote:
> ---------------------- Information from the mail header -----------------------
> Sender:       American Dialect Society<ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU>
> Poster:       Garson O'Toole<adsgarsonotoole at GMAIL.COM>
> Subject:      Re: Endangered specie (coinages)
> -------------------------------------------------------------------------------
> W Brewer wrote
>> (Which reminds me of a Facebook bon voyage to the Enterprise crew, with the
>> common folk etymology of aweigh: Anchors away! [which I used to think meant
>> drop anchor] ) Random associations. Help.
> The Eggcorn Database has this interesting transformation listed:
> weigh>>  way
> Chiefly in:   way anchor , anchors away , way in (on)
> http://eggcorns.lascribe.net/english/58/way/
> It was analyzed/reported by list member Arnold Zwicky in 2004:
> http://itre.cis.upenn.edu/~myl/languagelog/archives/001390.html

A very long time ago I was an enlisted in the US Navy which was fraught
with traditional artifacts that made no sense to anybody so I spent some
time researching some of them.

I don't remember what the root of "way" was in the contest of "moving
through the water purposefully" but things like " boats are away" seems
to stem from it.

The leading "a" seems to mean "doing".

In "anchors aweigh" to information conveyed is the the anchor has been
pulled to the vertical and is clear of the bottom (being "weighed" on
the chain and gear) and the ship can get under way.

By the way, the words "ship" and "boat" have precise meanings--while
both are floating vessels, only boats can be hoisted aboard ships.  A
fact that annoys Destroyer Escort sailors.  Submarines in this regard
like most others, are an exception.

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