Mid-June etymology gleanings

John Cowan pointed out that queer “quaint, odd” can be and is still used today despite its latest (predominant) sense. Yes, I know. Quite intentionally, I sometimes use the phrase queer smile. It
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From the life of words John Cowan pointed out that queer “quaint, odd” can be and is still used today despite its latest (predominant) sense. Yes, I know. Quite intentionally, I sometimes use the phrase queer smile. It usually arouses a few embarrassed grins. My students assume that a man in the winter of his days is so un-cool that he does not know what this adjective now means. I have never tried queer smell and will probably not risk it, but I once wrote a post on qualm (13 August 2014), whose German cognate means “dense smoke”—a queer pair, when you come to think of it. Peter Maher sent me an ad about a store, announcing twenty things to do in intercourse, all of them quite innocent and unexciting. He also reminds us of the famous word homely, “unattractive” in North America, but “cozy” on the other side of the Atlantic. By contrast, homey, I think, has positive connotations everywhere. All kinds of impulses can come from home. Thus, Icelandic heimskur (-sk is a suffix, and. . .

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News source: Linguistics – OUPblog

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