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SandyD
05-25-2006, 12:48 PM
Think about the word "bore" for aminute. To bore a hole or to bore someone. How did the same word come to such different meanings?

Roy Tucker
05-25-2006, 12:55 PM
Ask and ye shall receive...

http://www.etymonline.com/index.php?search=bore&searchmode=none

bore
O.E. borian "to bore," from bor "auger," from P.Gmc. *boron, from PIE base *bhor-/*bhr- "to cut with a sharp point" (cf. Gk. pharao "I plow," L. forare "to bore, pierce," O.C.E. barjo "to strike, fight," Alb. brime "hole"). The meaning "diameter of a tube" is first recorded 1572; hence fig. slang full bore (1936) "at maximum speed," from notion of unchoked carburetor on an engine.

Sense of "be tiresome or dull" first attested 1768, a vogue word c.1780-81, possibly a figurative extension of "to move forward slowly and steadily."

"The secret of being a bore is to tell everything." [Voltaire, "Sept Discours en Vers sur l'Homme," 1738]

Boredom "state of being bored" first recorded 1852; boring "wearisome" is from 1840.

Falls City Beer
05-25-2006, 01:26 PM
Sounds like "bore" in the old sense simply transformed metaphorically to the 1768 sense. Someone perhaps who grinds imperceptibly slowly through conversations, like an auger.

A form of metonymy.

Johnny Footstool
05-25-2006, 02:08 PM
Sounds like "bore" in the old sense simply transformed metaphorically to the 1768 sense. Someone perhaps who grinds slowly and imperceptibly slow through conversations, like an auger.

A form of metonymy.

I agree. I'd imagine the first use was something like "You bore me," as in "you grind away at me." It later morphed to "I'm bored" and then to "a state of boredom."

Redlegs23
05-25-2006, 02:29 PM
This thread is boring.

SandyD
05-25-2006, 02:51 PM
Thanks, guys. I was trying to make that connection, and couldn't :D Word usage over time fascinates me. I should have been a linguist.

Johnny Footstool
05-25-2006, 06:08 PM
If there was any money in etymology, that would be my career.

And no, I don't mean bugs.

vaticanplum
05-25-2006, 06:14 PM
If there was any money in etymology, that would be my career.

There are linguists at acting schools. The American Conservatory Theatre in San Francisco in particular is very concerned with language and the linguists study the texts with the dramaturgs to find the roots of the words and what that may mean for the plays, then translate this to the actors whom they also help with accents and mouth work. It's a varied, interesting, and cool job I would think. On the down side, you have to work with actors all day long.

Falls City Beer
05-25-2006, 08:00 PM
Did you know that the word "host," as in "one who receives guests" is derived from the proto-Indo-European ghostis-*, which means "stranger?"

There's something unbelievably uncanny about that.

dabvu2498
05-25-2006, 08:59 PM
"Why do we park on driveways and drive on parkways?" -- Gallagher

Roy Tucker
05-25-2006, 11:48 PM
I had to look up "metonymy". Interesting word.

I've always been a word geek. Do lots of crossword puzzles (in ink, no reference material), play Scrabble, used to play a game called Scribbage with my dad for hours, and sometimes read the dictionary.

I am quite the exciting guy.:rolleyes:

cincinnati chili
05-25-2006, 11:49 PM
"Why do we park on driveways and drive on parkways?" -- Gallagher

Funny, all these years I thought that was Socrates.