arsenal = collection = store

Jonathan Lighter wuxxmupp2000 at GMAIL.COM
Tue Feb 2 15:44:58 UTC 2010

Perhaps I was being too sophisticated and conservative when I said "store."
The man was more likely to be thinking "collection."

There must be millions of Americans who are unfamiliar with the traditional
meaning of "arsenal" but who have read and heard it used figuratively in the

"I'm adding dragon breath to my arsenal of super powers."

"The late Rudy Vallee now boasts hiphop skills in his entertainment

(Ad hoc exx.)


On Tue, Feb 2, 2010 at 9:40 AM, Joel S. Berson <Berson at> wrote:

> ---------------------- Information from the mail header
> -----------------------
> Sender:       American Dialect Society <ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU>
> Poster:       "Joel S. Berson" <Berson at ATT.NET>
> Subject:      Re: arsenal = collection = store
> -------------------------------------------------------------------------------
> At 2/2/2010 05:09 AM, Seán Fitzpatrick wrote:
> >ar⋅se⋅nal [ahr-suh-nl, ahrs-nuhl]­noun
> >1. a place of storage or a magazine containing
> >arms and military equipment for land or naval service.
> >2. a government establishment where military
> >equipment or munitions are manufactured.
> >3. a collection or supply of weapons or munitions.
> >4. a collection or supply of anything; store: He
> >came to the meeting with an impressive arsenal of new research data.
> And in the good old days, "store" could mean
> "arsenal", sense 4.  The corn was put into the
> store to keep it safe from the starving Jamestown ruffians.
> Joel
> ------------------------------------------------------------
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