Jonathan Lighter wuxxmupp2000 at GMAIL.COM
Fri Sep 7 12:21:43 UTC 2012

It could catch on now that it's been featured. And thre certainly is a
niche for it.

"Bloviate" is not in HDAS because the only cites I had were from
dictionaries (notably Barrere & Leland, 1889).

Not long after Vol 1 appeared, William Safire (I believe) resurrected the
word from somwhere and it is now part of the political core vocab.


On Fri, Sep 7, 2012 at 2:16 AM, Victor Steinbok <aardvark66 at gmail.com>wrote:

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> Sender:       American Dialect Society <ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU>
> Poster:       Victor Steinbok <aardvark66 at GMAIL.COM>
> Subject:      emacity
> -------------------------------------------------------------------------------
> OED WOTD last night was "emacity". Of the three quotes, two are from
> dictionaries.
> > Fondness for buying.
> > 1656 T. Blount Glossographia, Emacity, a desire to be always buying.
> > 1676 E. Coles Eng. Dict., Emacity, a desire of being alway buying.
> > 1806 F. Prevost & F. W. Blagdon Flowers of Lit. 347 The disease of
> > emacity, or itch for buying bargains.
> I can't antedate the first two, but I got a couple of interesting
> extensions forward (1840s-50s). Bailey's 1675 Universal Etymological
> English Dictionary offers the same definition as the other two.
> http://goo.gl/HXu8U
> Henry David Thoreau: Journal. September 2, 1851 (Moose-lipped words --
> full paragraph)
> > Old Cato says well, "Patremfamilias vendacem, non emacem, esse
> > oportet." These Latin terminations express better than any English
> > that I know the greediness, as it were, and tenacity of purpose with
> > which the husbandman and householder is required to be a seller and
> > not a buyer, -- with mastiff-like tenacity, -- these lipped words,
> > which, like the lips of moose and browsing creatures, gather in the
> > herbage and twigs with a certain greed. This termination cious adds
> > force to a word, like the lips of browsing creatures, which greedily
> > collect what the jaw holds; as in the word "tenacious" the first half
> > represents the kind of jaw which holds, the last the lips which
> > collect. It can only be pronounced by a certain opening and protruding
> > of the lips; so "avaricious." These words express the sense of their
> > simple roots with the addition, as it were, of a certain lip
> > greediness. Hence "capacious" and "capacity," "emacity." When these
> > expressive words are used, the hearer gets something to chew upon. To
> > be a seller with the tenacity and firmness and steadiness of the jaws
> > which hold and the greediness of the lips which collect. The audacious
> > man not only dares, but he greedily collects more danger to dare. The
> > avaricious man not only desires and satisfies his desire, but he
> > collects ever new browse in anticipation of his ever-springing
> > desires. What is luscious is especially enjoyed by the lips. The
> > mastiff-mouthed are tenacious. To be a seller with mastiff-mouthed
> > tenacity of purpose, with moose-lipped greediness, -- ability to
> > browse! To be edacious and voracious is to be not nibbling and
> > swallowing merely, but eating and swallowing while the lips are
> > greedily collecting more food.
> Note that 1) "emacem" appears in the Cato quotation, and 2) the word is
> listed without any explanation, apparently indicating that it was in use
> -- or, given that this is in Thoreau's Journal, perhaps indicating a
> source closely familiar to the author.
> The Quarterly Review. Volume 87 (173). June 1850
> [Review of] Œuvres de Condorcet complétées sur les MSS. originaux :
> enrichies d'un grand nombre de Lettres inédites de Voltaire, de Turgot,
> &c. : précédées de l' Eloge de Condorcet par M. F. Arago : publiées par
> A. Condorcet O'Connor, Lieutenant-Général, et M. F. Arago, Secrétaire
> perpétual de l' Académie des Sciences; Paris, 1847-1849. p. 9-10
> > You hear and read eternal vituperation of the Royal Academy in
> > Trafalgar Square; but, whatever may be the defects in its
> > construction, we could wish to see certain great features of its
> > practical system imitated by bodies which assume to be of statelier
> > importance, and, unlike it, reserve their chairs for Cavoyes. The
> > R.A.s work each at home in his own studio; once a-year they allow each
> > other and all the world to see what they have been doing, and the
> > Exhibition is opened with a dinner, to which they invite such grandees
> > as have acquired a reputation for what our antique friend Sir Thomas
> > Urquhart calls 'an emacity' in the department of modern master-pieces,
> > or for being likely, in case of any parliamentary cavilling, to
> > indicate a just recollection of the turtle and the fraternal hour.
> Note the reference to Sir Thomas Urquhart, which will become important
> later. Aside from Thoreau, which is, in itself, interesting, there are
> other interesting citations. Prevost & Blagdon (the OED 1806 citation)
> appear to have obtained their material from this publication:
> http://goo.gl/G4K7i
> The Triflers. To Which Is Added, The Rout. Also The Farmer's Son. By
> Richard Graves. London: 1805
> The Triflers. p. 37
> > By which means he had contracted such an habitual emacity, as Pliny
> > calls it (or propensity to purchase every thing that we see)
> > especially if it strikes our fancy, under the idea of being cheap or a
> > great bargain, that after he had accomplished his purpose, for which
> > he attended those repositories of damaged furniture, he still
> > persevered in purchasing what he did not want; and at a sale by hand,
> > I saw the reverend Dr. ascend, "ab inferis," from the infernalregions
> > of the kitchen and the scullery, with a basting ladle in one hand, and
> > a gridiron in the other; so that in short, after his wife* died and he
> > returned to reside in college, his house was found full from the
> > cellar to the garret, with empty barrels, chairs and tables ; beds and
> > chefts of drawers, enough to furnish one of the largest lodging houses
> > in Bath.
> p. 45
> > I found, however, that this gentleman was a little infected with the
> > disease of emacity ; or itch for buying bargains above mentioned.
> A copy of Flowers of Literature for 1806 ( http://goo.gl/mGftU carrying
> only Bagdon's name) confirms the match.
> Another interesting mention appear a bit later, but in the copy of the
> works of Thomas Urquhart of Cromarty (1611-c. 1660). So, if proved
> original, this would actually serve to antedate the dictionaries, in all
> likelihood. The fact that Thoreau identifies Cato and Graves Pliny as
> sources for the Latin antecedent of the word makes it likely that there
> may have been other sources of the same period.
> http://goo.gl/sV0eA
> Sir Thomas Urquhart of Cromartie, knight. By John Willcock. 1899
> Chapter VI. p. 180
> > [And so] I went on in my laudatives, to procure the greater longing,
> > that an ardent desire might stir up an emacity [a propensity to buy],
> > to the furtherance of my proposed end." One is obliged sadly to assent
> > to his further statement about such conduct — " whereof . . . there
> > wanteth not store of presidents [precedents]." [Works. p. 332]
> Since I don't know when the original was published, let alone written, I
> cannot ascertain the date of the underlying citation. But it would have
> to be in the 1640s or 50s.
> Digging a bit deeper, get a volume of The Works, but still from the 19th
> century.
> http://goo.gl/jU6Hb
> The works of sir Thomas Urquhart [ed. by T. Mailtand]. 1834
> Logopandecteision, Or an Introdvction to the Vniversal Langvage. The
> Second Book of the Introdvction, Intituled, Chrestasebeia; or, Impious
> Dealings of Creditors. p. 332
> > 54. So in matter of this literatorie chaffer, I determined not to be
> > too rash in the prestitution thereof, least it should be villified;
> > yet went on in my laudatives, to procure the greater longing, that an
> > ardent desire might stir up an emacity, to the furtherance of my
> > proposed end.
> Luckily, the title page of the specific work is reproduced in the
> volume, complete with the publication date of 1653. So this is, indeed,
> an antedating of "emacity".
> In all probability, Blount got the term from Urquhart, was then copied
> by Bailey and Coles, and a number of dictionaries for over a century to
> follow. But the link to Urquhart was only restored in 1834, leaving the
> 1805 citation (copied in 1806 Flowers) disconnected, except via
> dictionaries and Latin originals (in this case, Pliny). The 1834
> Urquhart publication leads to a reference in the review of Condorcet in
> the 1850 Quarterly Review, leaving Thoreau somewhat disconnected. On one
> hand, the Thoreau journal citation (1851) is much too close to the
> Condorcet review (1850) to be ignored. On the other, Thoreau also picks
> up yet another Latin original from Cato, leaving the English version of
> the word unexplained. Did he find the Urquhart connection in one of the
> review publications (there are actually multiple copies reproduced in
> other review journals in 1850) and then scoured his Latin library for a
> requisite quotation? Had he had a copy of Graves, he would have looked
> at Pliny. Instead, he found it in Cato. What makes it even more
> interesting is that both Thoreau and Urquhart were discussing issues of
> language when they got sidetracked into the stories of "emacity". My
> belief is that this eliminates this particular coincidence, leaving only
> Graves to stand on his own (via Pliny). Graves's own interpretation
> appears to be independent and the meaning close to modern "hoarding",
> whereas Urquhart's usage is quite different. Aside from the modern
> publications that treat the word as a novelty, the question remains as
> to whether anyone used it in normal writing outside of the four
> sources--Urquhart, Graves, the Condorcet review, and Thoreau. I found no
> evidence of such usage, but, of course, it's not like GB is a complete
> representative source for the period. So, for now, it's just a theory.
> VS-)
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