[Ads-l] min min light

Wilson Gray hwgray at GMAIL.COM
Sat Sep 18 23:58:52 EDT 2021


> Here's my question: why mention the hotel when ... nearby Min Min Creek
is earlier attested (1887, GB) than Min Min Hotel?

The hotel was more important to people of European ancestry than the stream
was?

On Fri, Sep 17, 2021 at 8:28 AM Stephen Goranson <goranson at duke.edu> wrote:

> OED's word of the day
> Min-Min, n. Australian
>
>
>  " A mysterious, phosphorescent light observed sporadically in the
> Australian outback. Also Min-Min light....
>
> Etymology: Origin uncertain; perhaps < an Australian Aboriginal language,
> although R. M. W. Dixon et al. Austral. Aboriginal Words in Eng. (1990) 195
> note: ‘This is said to be from a language in the Cloncurry area, but it
> does not appear in any of the materials for languages of the region, nor
> was it recognized by the last speakers of these languages.’
> Another theory found in some non-linguistic sources is that the word
> derives < Min-Min, the name of a former hotel in Boulia, north-western
> Queensland, Australia, where the light was first seen, but this has not
> been substantiated: compare Austral. Encycl. (1965) VI. 91."
> Uses from 1950.
> ***
> This is news to me. Here's my question: why mention the hotel when--from a
> quick search at least--nearby Min Min Creek is earlier attested (1887, GB)
> than Min Min Hotel?
>
> SG
>
>
> ------------------------------------------------------------
> The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org
>


-- 
- Wilson
-----
All say, "How hard it is that we have to die!"---a strange complaint to
come from the mouths of people who have had to live.
-Mark Twain

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