wearing the mantlepiece

Joel S. Berson Berson at ATT.NET
Wed Mar 28 06:36:22 UTC 2007

At 3/27/2007 09:37 PM, Laurence Horn wrote:
>At 9:14 PM -0400 3/27/07, William Salmon wrote:
>>Strange. There are plenty of relevant hits for "the conservative mantle"
>>I'd always thought of "mantlepiece" as refering to the wooden frame
>>around a fire place. In that case, wearing the mantlepiece would
>>conjure an image like that of a yoked ox. Or maybe like this one:
>I'm pretty sure the only kind of mantelpiece there is is indeed the
>kind over the fireplace, but since that's encountered more often
>(lexically) than the actual mantle (conservative or otherwise), it's
>a reasonably natural reanalysis.

The OED indicates that "mantelpiece" has multiple possibilities:  the
shelf, the support for the masonry above a fireplace, or the
structure above *and around* the fireplace.


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