Looming, looming, looming: Part 2

The New Year is looming! I can write a most edifying post about 2017, or rather about what happened a hundred years ago, in 1917, but this is an etymological blog, so I, a hard-working cobbler, will
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The New Year is looming! I can write a most edifying post about 2017, or rather about what happened a hundred years ago, in 1917, but this is an etymological blog, so I, a hard-working cobbler, will stick to my last. On 21 December, discussion turned around the noun loom. Now is the time to look at the homonymous verb. But before I come to the point, I would like to say some more things about the noun. A cobbler sticking to his last is a brother of an etymologist on his last legs. In the modern language, loom “utensil” seems to be a sole remnant of the gelōme group (we’ll disregard heirloom). But Middle English also had lome “penis” (an implement of sorts!) and “fellow,” the latter with derogatory epithets (compare Modern Engl. tool and fellow, both used for “penis”). It has an analog in German Lümmel “lout” and again “penis.” English dictionaries record loon “a stupid fellow; a clown; with various shades of intensity as an opprobrious epithet” (so The Century Dictionary). Shakespeare. . .

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News source: Linguistics – OUPblog

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