Author Topic: 'Deadly' - homonymous or polysemous?  (Read 1969 times)

Offline Daniel

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Re: 'Deadly' - homonymous or polysemous?
« Reply #15 on: May 11, 2016, 12:43:53 PM »
Duck (noun/verb) comes from two different sources. The assumed connection is merely a folk etymology. But obviously, like aver/have, the meaning is related but not in any sense "the same" because the parts of speech differ. Same with straight!
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Re: 'Deadly' - homonymous or polysemous?
« Reply #16 on: May 11, 2016, 05:21:07 PM »
Duck (noun/verb) comes from two different sources. The assumed connection is merely a folk etymology.
Can you please elaborate on this? Several dictionaries give the impression that the connection is real – including Wiktionary here. What source did 'duck' (the bird) actually come from?

Perhaps it might be better to start a new thread on this point.

Offline Daniel

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Re: 'Deadly' - homonymous or polysemous?
« Reply #17 on: May 12, 2016, 11:06:25 AM »
Strange! I clearly remember reading this as an example of an (incorrect) folk etymology, but apparently that source was wrong, or the myth has spread to various sources, including:
http://etymonline.com/index.php?allowed_in_frame=0&search=duck

My impression was that the name for the animal was older and that the action was not named after it. Perhaps that was the folk etymology, where in reality the animal was named after the action centuries earlier. But at best that's a confusing example of 'folk etymology' because there's still some truth to it if this is correct.
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Offline Daniel

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Re: 'Deadly' - homonymous or polysemous?
« Reply #18 on: May 12, 2016, 11:13:18 AM »
Coincidentally, this brings up another, better example:

The original term was "duck tape", which was later thought to be "duct tape" because of its usage. Given that /dUk/ is the pronunciation either way (in normal fast speech) this is sort of a coincidental homophony with the same meaning...

(I've done some searching online to mind for discussion of this as folk etymology and didn't come across anything. I do remember reading or hearing this somewhere, but it looks like the original source was wrong about it.)
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