Author Topic: Examples of clipped words commonly used in present-day English  (Read 8931 times)

Offline Natalia

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Hello everyone,

Since I'm writing my BA thesis about productivity of the clipping process in Modern English, I've got a question for native speakers of English - what kind of words/phrases do you tend to clip in your everyday speech? I'd be grateful for any information.

Offline Daniel

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Re: Examples of clipped words commonly used in present-day English
« Reply #1 on: March 25, 2014, 12:25:21 PM »
Are you looking at written or spoken English ? In general it is rare for most speakers I think. I don't often shorten words while speaking anyway.
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Offline Natalia

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Re: Examples of clipped words commonly used in present-day English
« Reply #2 on: March 25, 2014, 12:32:12 PM »
Actually both. Well, such words are often part of slang, so they are commonly used by the youth, I guess.

Offline Daniel

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Re: Examples of clipped words commonly used in present-day English
« Reply #3 on: March 25, 2014, 12:47:17 PM »
Right. You might want to look at a specific group of speakers who do this often. Some groups of young women do this more often, such as "def" for definitely or "tots" for totally, etc. you might find some data there.
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Offline Natalia

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Re: Examples of clipped words commonly used in present-day English
« Reply #4 on: March 25, 2014, 12:53:53 PM »
Are you suggesting some gossip sites? If so, can you give me link(s) to some?

Offline Daniel

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Re: Examples of clipped words commonly used in present-day English
« Reply #5 on: March 25, 2014, 02:54:26 PM »
I'm not sure what sites to suggest but maybe you could search for those words on forums or other sites and see if that helps to get you started.
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Offline Corybobory

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Re: Examples of clipped words commonly used in present-day English
« Reply #6 on: March 25, 2014, 04:17:32 PM »
Haha I'm a bit guilty of using 'totes' :)

Can someone explain a little more about what clipping is?  If I'm understanding by context, there's quite a few examples in British English, for example 'soz' for sorry, 'whatevs' might be another...  I don't know if 'innit' counts for 'isn't it', or 'bruv' for brother.
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Offline Daniel

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Re: Examples of clipped words commonly used in present-day English
« Reply #7 on: March 25, 2014, 04:59:40 PM »
I have to say I'm not sure exactly what it is either. Natalia, if you have a technical definition, please provide it. I'm just going with what makes sense to me, but that might not be exactly what you want for your research.

I think those would count, Cory. I'm not sure whether it still counts if it is lexicalized and widespread. For example, "ref" for "referree" or "pro" for "professional" is probably not a relevant example at this point. The ones you cited are probably relevant though. (I don't think "innit" would be, because that's just an alternative/fast pronunciation, not really missing the end.)
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Offline ibarrere

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Re: Examples of clipped words commonly used in present-day English
« Reply #8 on: March 25, 2014, 05:27:24 PM »
Innit brav? ;)
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Offline Natalia

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Re: Examples of clipped words commonly used in present-day English
« Reply #9 on: March 26, 2014, 10:26:41 AM »

The examples you gave me is that’s exactly what I’m looking for. Thanks! But to make it clear, here you’ve got a definition and some examples of clippings.

clipping – a process denoting the subtraction of one or more syllables from a word.

Examples of different types of clipping:

fore-clipping: phone < telephone, burger < hamburger, plane < aeroplane
back-clipping: turps < turpentine, bike < bicycle, mike < microphone
mixed clipping: van < advantage, flu < influenza,  fridge < refrigerator
clipping compounds: sci-fi <science fiction, sitcom < situational comedy, biopic < biographical picture
o-clippings: limo < limousine, rhino < rhinoceros, aggro < aggressive, evo < evening
y-hypocoristics (typical of Australian English): barbie < barbecue, brekky < breakfast, leckie < lecture

Offline Natalia

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Re: Examples of clipped words commonly used in present-day English
« Reply #10 on: March 26, 2014, 10:31:23 AM »
I have to say I'm not sure exactly what it is either. Natalia, if you have a technical definition, please provide it. I'm just going with what makes sense to me, but that might not be exactly what you want for your research.

I think those would count, Cory. I'm not sure whether it still counts if it is lexicalized and widespread. For example, "ref" for "referree" or "pro" for "professional" is probably not a relevant example at this point. The ones you cited are probably relevant though. (I don't think "innit" would be, because that's just an alternative/fast pronunciation, not really missing the end.)

Yes, the words you provided are examples of clippings :) Thank you!

Offline Natalia

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Re: Examples of clipped words commonly used in present-day English
« Reply #11 on: March 26, 2014, 10:36:33 AM »
Haha I'm a bit guilty of using 'totes' :)

Can someone explain a little more about what clipping is?  If I'm understanding by context, there's quite a few examples in British English, for example 'soz' for sorry, 'whatevs' might be another...  I don't know if 'innit' counts for 'isn't it', or 'bruv' for brother.

Thank you for the links! The examples you gave will be very useful:)

Offline Corybobory

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Re: Examples of clipped words commonly used in present-day English
« Reply #12 on: March 26, 2014, 10:43:33 AM »
There's an interesting pattern as well in British English for clipping people's first names - for example, Karen is Kaz, Gary is Gaz...
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