SLITHER, n.--another word with two (or 1.5) mommies?

W Brewer brewerwa at GMAIL.COM
Tue Oct 8 15:52:01 UTC 2013

LH:  <<not willing to dismiss semantic factors, given the long, smooth,
slippery aspects of both slithery things (eels, snakes, etc.) and slivers
(of ginger et al.)>>
WB:  I feel (therefore I am) that ginger is not sl-, i.e. phonaesthetically
slippery, slimy, sleazy, slick, slushy, slutty, or slithery. My brain
refuses to associate ginger with slithery things. Sliver is only
accidentally sl-, because a sliver is small, sharp & painful, not repulsive
& liquidy. Formal attraction only for me; no meaning. (Like my love life.)

The American Dialect Society -

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