[Ads-l] to don

Thomas Howell thowelljr54 at GMAIL.COM
Sat Dec 14 18:45:07 EST 2019


On Sat, Dec 14, 2019 at 14:44 Mark Mandel <markamandel at gmail.com> wrote:

> I finally (many years ago) managed to hold onto the difference between
> "don" and "doff" by remembering that they come from "do on" and "do off".
>
> Etymonline.com explains the history:
> >>>>>
> *doff (v.)*
>
> "put or take off" an article of clothing, especially a hat or cap, late
> 14c., *doffen*, a contraction of *do off*, preserving the original sense of
> *do* as "put." At the time of Johnson's Dictionary [1755] the word was
> "obsolete, and rarely used except by rustics," and also in literature as a
> conscious archaism, but it was saved from extinction (along with *don*
> (v.)) by Sir Walter Scott. However, *dout* and *dup* did not survive.
> Related: *Doffed; doffing.*
> <<<<<
>
> Mark Mandel
>
> On Sat, Dec 14, 2019, 12:49 PM Laurence Horn <laurence.horn at yale.edu>
> wrote:
>
> >  I suspect "doff (one's hat)" is more robust than "don" for 'put on'.
> But
> > if "don" is simply understood as 'wear' or 'sport', the elegant
> > parallelism between "don" and "doff" is lost.    Sigh.
> >
> > LH
> >
> > On Sat, Dec 14, 2019 at 10:40 AM Jonathan Lighter <
> wuxxmupp2000 at gmail.com>
> > wrote:
> >
> > I suspect it's related to a misapprehension of the now notorious line,
> > "Don we now our gay apparel," which theoretically could mean either 'put
> > on' or 'wear.'
> >
>
>  As mentioned elsewhere, my grandchildren were taught in school that the
> > lyrics were "Don we now our fine apparel."
> >
> > JL
> >
>
> ------------------------------------------------------------
> The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org
>

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