one-off (was Re: Dropping the aitch from "human")

Wilson Gray hwgray at GMAIL.COM
Thu Dec 21 20:00:44 UTC 2006

arnold, as The Stones once unoriginally put it: "Ain't that a bitch?!"
It's almost enough to make a grown man cry. You can't win for losing.
Etc. :-)

An example from BE is a "crook," instead of a "crick," in, e.g. one's
neck. I once discussed this with friends, but I'm sure that they went
back to "crook," as soon as I was out of earshot.


On 12/20/06, Arnold M. Zwicky <zwicky at> wrote:
> ---------------------- Information from the mail header -----------------------
> Sender:       American Dialect Society <ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU>
> Poster:       "Arnold M. Zwicky" <zwicky at CSLI.STANFORD.EDU>
> Subject:      one-off (was Re: Dropping the aitch from "human")
> -------------------------------------------------------------------------------
> On Dec 20, 2006, at 5:27 AM, Jon Lighter wrote:
> > A "one-off" in Britspeak is a unique example, usually (and app.
> > originally) a manufactured item, such as a prototype.
> >
> >   OED 1947 (but 1934 as adj.).
> originally british, but imported in recent years to the u.s.  in both
> places it has been eggcorned to "one-of", which makes more sense to
> many people.  in a further development, "one-of" speakers who
> encounter "one-off" take *that* to be the innovation (and an error).
> discussion in the ecdb:
> arnold
> ------------------------------------------------------------
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