Author Topic: A word wrongly used  (Read 5225 times)

Offline Darryl

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A word wrongly used
« on: January 17, 2014, 11:40:54 am »
Just thought I would share a bit of trivia.
Some people have the wrong idea about blacksmiths. We have a pioneer village in our town and for the last couple of years I have been doing the blacksmith demonstrations for visitors. We have an old time hand-blower forge and I make hooks and handles, roses and leaves, decorative stuff.
We often get the visitor who insists on calling me a 'smithy'. That is akin to calling a mechanic a garage. The person doing the hammering on the anvil is a 'smith' and the place in which he works is the 'smithy'.
I think I know where the misconception comes from. Many of us learnt at school the Longfellow poem The Village Blacksmith. Unfortunately, we remember (and misunderstand) the first two lines. The third line is often forgotten:

Under a spreading chestnut-tree
The village smithy stands;
The smith, a mighty man is he,
With large and sinewy hands;
And the muscles of his brawny arms
Are strong as iron bands.

So next time you are at a county fair or country show and a blacksmith is operating, please don't call him (or her) a smithy!!




Offline Bertha

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Re: A word wrongly used
« Reply #1 on: January 17, 2014, 12:02:30 pm »
Bertha

Offline t k

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Re: A word wrongly used
« Reply #2 on: January 20, 2014, 02:50:51 am »
Darryl ---  I guess that the wrong use may not be so much from the influence of Longfellow as from the tendency to add 'y' to the names (often among friends) as in Billy, Franky, Jimmy, Tommy, etc.  --- tk
« Last Edit: January 21, 2014, 02:31:36 am by t k »

Offline Darryl

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Re: A word wrongly used
« Reply #3 on: January 20, 2014, 11:46:50 am »
Yes, perhaps. We Australians are good at that. And 'o' as well.

Offline Britta

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Re: A word wrongly used
« Reply #4 on: January 20, 2014, 04:09:45 pm »
Yes, perhaps. We Australians are good at that. And 'o' as well.

As in "you're my favourite smitho"?  :o
If it's not used by a native speaker it's not idiomatic. And idiom trumps grammar every time. Jack Wilkerson†

Offline Darryl

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Re: A word wrongly used
« Reply #5 on: January 20, 2014, 10:12:44 pm »
I think not!
Rather as in:
After smoko we'll get petrol at the servo, pay our rego and pick up a beer at the bottle-o.

Offline t k

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Re: A word wrongly used
« Reply #6 on: January 21, 2014, 02:47:09 am »
Adding "o" to common words might be tricky if the word happen to be "disc", and in spoken words, "home", "sole", or "type".   :)

Offline Britta

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Re: A word wrongly used
« Reply #7 on: January 21, 2014, 07:00:44 am »
Adding "o" to common words might be tricky if the word happen to be "disc", and in spoken words, "home", "sole", or "type".   :)

You're my typo!  :-*
If it's not used by a native speaker it's not idiomatic. And idiom trumps grammar every time. Jack Wilkerson†

Offline Darryl

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Re: A word wrongly used
« Reply #8 on: January 21, 2014, 09:27:46 am »
The following words spring to mind. All in common Aus use:
demo = demostration
rego = registration
Aggro = anger/aggression
Physio = physiotherapy
info = information
arvo = afternoon
journo = journalist
ambo = ambulance officer/paramedic
salvo = salvation army officer
compo = compensation (worker's)
reno = renovation
ammo = ammunition
milko = milk vendor
garbo = garbage collector
doco = documentary
smoko = tea break

Offline admin

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Re: A word wrongly used
« Reply #9 on: January 21, 2014, 07:43:56 pm »
I only know:
demo
aggro
info
physio
and ammo

The rest are new to me.
Best wishes,

Duncan Baker
http://www.lydbury.co.uk