Arnold Zwicky zwicky at STANFORD.EDU
Fri Dec 3 18:15:38 UTC 2010

On Dec 3, 2010, at 9:40 AM, David Bowie wrote:

> ... Finally, just to catch one more item in this thread, i think that there
> are probably at least three reasons -al and -ar don't occur with 'ball':
> (1) the possibly OCP phonological block against *'ballal'; (2) the
> phonetic ambiguity of *'ballar' and 'baller'; and (3) as has already
> been mentioned, the word 'testicular' already exists.

the existence of an L vocabulary item doesn't prevent people from innovating sort-of-jocular items.  in this case, "ballicular" (which gets around the phonological problems):

Dude, the rules state clearly and truthfully: if balls don't touch, it ain't gay. It's not up to the rulemakers to provide specifics.

No ballicular contact, no gay.

No gal likes to inadvertently floss while visiting a man's ballicular region. [about male hairiness]

(only a few exx.; cf. “cockular” and “dickular” in an earlier posting – as ways of making monosyllables suitable for –ar suffixation)


The American Dialect Society -

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