very giving

Thomas Paikeday t.paikeday at SYMPATICO.CA
Thu Mar 8 03:08:42 UTC 2001

Hi all!

Can anyone find lexicographical citations for "very/quite/seem giving"
in the sense of "very generous," etc. as in "Jack is a very giving
person"? My resources are rather meagre. OED has 4,084 occurrences of
"giving" but no "very giving." A database I used for my last dictionary
has 9,724 of "giving" and two of "a very giving person" (one from TOTAL
HEALTH and another from GOOD HOUSEKEEPING, both 1990). Is "a very giving
person" the only way the word is used? The 13,808 cases of "giving" (OED
+ mine) are too many to scan individually for the phrase in question.

I am trying to determine the frequency and usage of "giving" (=
generous) as a participial adjective. Has anyone heard "He's quite
giving," "He seems more giving than her," etc.?

Is "giving" in the "generous" sense (cf. "give of oneself") listed in
any dictionary at all, even under GIVE? Again, my library is rather
small and the nearest university is a couple of hours' drive from here.

Thanks in anticipation.


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