Wilson Gray hwgray at GMAIL.COM
Sun Apr 11 22:57:15 UTC 2010

I gather from your post that those who use, e.g. _[close-]shaven_, do
so because they truly believe such forms to be "proper" and not as a
deliberate attempt to annoy the hell out of me and to render all the
effort put into learning "proper English" entirely nugatory.
Thank you!!! I can already feel my blood pressure dropping!


On Sun, Apr 11, 2010 at 10:34 AM, Laurence Horn <laurence.horn at> wrote:
> ---------------------- Information from the mail header -----------------------
> Sender:       American Dialect Society <ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU>
> Poster:       Laurence Horn <laurence.horn at YALE.EDU>
> Subject:      Re: Boughten
> -------------------------------------------------------------------------------
> At 8:23 AM -0400 4/11/10, Douglas G. Wilson wrote:
>>Michael Quinion wrote:
>>>The leader of the Conservative Party, David Cameron (Eton and Oxford), was
>>>visiting a big bakery in Bolton last week. He made a joke about his
>>>failure to make his own bread: "So it'll be back to boughten loaves in
>>>future." This adjective (meaning shop-bought) isn't known in standard
>>>British English, though it was once in the dialects of southern England
>>>(almost completely defunct now, I believe). I'm wondering if Cameron might
>>>have picked it up in the US. Some newspaper comments I've read suggest
>>>that, though it's known, it's deprecated as dialectal or regional. What do
>>>you say about its US distribution and status?
>>MWDEU is good as usual IMHO:
>>This includes a review of the DARE entry.
>>I think most would find "boughten" rural or old-fashioned. I see the
>>word discussed as "quaint" etc. in 20th century newspaper columns. But
>>occasional apparently non-self-conscious examples (both 'participle' and
>>'adjective') can be found in print from the 20th century, and even in
>>recent Web usage.
>>Even more so: "boughtened", "store-bought[en[ed]]".
> Consistent with those points, I've heard it growing up, but always in
> self-conscious/jocular use (chiefly in "store-boughten").  I wonder
> if anyone has put together an overview of the distribution,
> regionally and age-related, and gradual disappearance/marginalization
> of the more general class of -en participial adjectives, including
> "(be)shitten (trousers)" and of course my favorite, "spitten
> (image)".  Even if "chaque mot a son histoire", there are probably
> some parallels among these -en archaisms.  A number of -(e)n
> participles are partially or fully retained in adjectival
> use--boughten loaves, spitten images, [new-]mown lawns, graven
> images, [clean-]shaven faces, [mis]shapen bodies, [un]proven
> allegations--after they've completely or, as with "proven" largely,
> fallen out of use as verbal past/passive participles.
> LH
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