Ronald Butters ronbutters at AOL.COM
Sat Dec 4 15:40:42 UTC 2010

Beautiful? Are "Jackie" and "Jerkie" also beautiful? What are the aesthetic criteria?

Given that CHUCK has a popular sense 'vomit', isn't it more likely that Americans would analyze CHUCKIE as 'a piece of vomit' rather than 'pebble' (which would certainly interfere with the popular reception of a hoped-for revival of the word--not to mention cancel out any sense of 'beauty' for most people).

For a word to make a "comeback," it would need to have been popular in the first place. Was CHUCKIE 'pebble' anything more than a rare UK 19th-century dialect form? Or perhaps just a nonce term from CHUCK 'to throw"? In any case, I don't see much evidence that it wasever  particularly widespread in American English.

Do people really read dictionaries looking for "beautiful words" that they can use in conversation? If so, are their hearers likely to pick up the word and use it--or just think the speakers are weird and pretentious? If the OED were to lower its price to an extent that such an experiment were possible, I doubt that it would be cost-effective.

And if the OED were so cheap, who would pay the bills to keep it running?

On Dec 4, 2010, at 2:32 AM, Paul Frank wrote:

> It's Saturday morning, so I'm going to allow myself a chatty post. I
> learned a word this morning reading a note by Robert Crawford the TLS:
> "This collection adds another chuckie to the cairn of a remarkable
> poetic achievement" (Les Murray's).
> Cairn has long been my favorite English word, perhaps because it
> reminds me hill walking in Scotland years ago.
> The word is chuckie, and here's how the OED defines it:
> Quartz pebble: also chuckie stone or stane.
> 1793    D. Ure Hist. Rutherglen 268 (Jam.)   Quartzy nodules, or
> chuckie-stones‥are very common.
> 1817    Scott Rob Roy II. i. 10   As fissenless as chuckie-stanes.
> 1825    Scott Jrnl. 22 Dec. (1939) 53   A minute philosopher‥eternally
> calling your attention‥to look at grasses and chucky-stones.
> I think that if the OED were affordable to most English speakers
> everywhere, beautiful words like chuckie would stand a chance of
> making a comeback.
> Paul
> ------------------------------------------------------------
> The American Dialect Society -

The American Dialect Society -

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