Short take: "multidrug" - WOTD from the OED

victor steinbok aardvark66 at GMAIL.COM
Sat Apr 17 00:48:41 UTC 2010

I am not assuming anything. I have no idea what it means--in fact, I
could not parse it for some time. To be honest, I do see any
difference between saying that its multiple drugstores or a chain that
consists of multiple drugstore--as far as I am concerned, that's the
same thing. The point is quite different here--why this particular
split--"multi-drug store". The question for me is more whether it is
[[multi-drug] store] or [multi-[drug store]], but, if it is the
latter, why not "drugstore"? And the former makes little sense as most
drugstores would be selling many drugs in any case. And if I did not
think there was an ambiguity, I would have pushed the date directly
back to 1895, not 1915.


On Fri, Apr 16, 2010 at 3:37 PM, Dan Goncharoff <thegonch at> wrote:
> Why assume a chain? Why not keep it simple? multi + drug store = many
> drug stores; multi-drug store owners = owners of many drug stores.
> DanG
> On 4/15/2010 2:08 AM, Victor Steinbok wrote:
>> American druggist and pharmaceutical record, Volume 26:5 (322). New
>> York: March 11, 1895
>> General News Notes. p. 157
>>> Benfield Bros., the multi-drug store owners, have bought the Euclid
>>> avenue pharmacy of late operated by Dreber Bros. L. Dreber in return
>>> purchased Benfield's Florence Pharmacy.

The American Dialect Society -

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