Ameliorated words of offensive origin

Lynne Murphy lynnem at COGS.SUSX.AC.UK
Fri Mar 2 17:03:50 UTC 2001

--On Friday, March 2, 2001 11:30 am -0500 Mark_Mandel at wrote:

> Lynne Murphy <lynnem at COGS.SUSX.AC.UK> writes:
> It comes from 'paddy' not 'patty' of course, since the Irish form of
> Patrick is Padraig and is diminuted (how's that for a back-formation?) as
> 'Paddy'.
> <<<<<
> Oh, come on, Lynne. As long as we're on a roll, let's do it right. Call it
> a back-form.

I can't because back-form is a verb, unless you want to do some
zero-derivation nonsense, and we wouldn't want any nonsense here, would we?
I back-formed 'diminuted'.


M Lynne Murphy
Lecturer in Linguistics
School of Cognitive and Computing Sciences
University of Sussex
Brighton BN1 9QH

phone +44-(0)1273-678844
fax   +44-(0)1273-671320

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