Discussion Forum

Please consider registering
guest

Log In Register

Register | Lost password?
Advanced Search

— Forum Scope —

  

— Match —

   

— Forum Options —

   

Minimum search word length is 4 characters - maximum search word length is 84 characters

Topic RSS
the WOTD is a fink!
Topic Rating: 0 (0 votes) 
2014/08/17
12:52am
deaconB
Member
Forum Posts: 273
Member Since:
2013/10/17
Offline
1
0

Dictionary.com has declared fink to be the word of the day today

They say:
Fink emerged as a slang term in the US in the early 1900s. Its origin is unknown, but some etymologists cite the German word of the same spelling, which means “a frivolous or dissolute person,” as a possible lexical ancestor.

Are there no etymologists who were watching Disney in the early 1960s? Mike Fink didn’t get invented by Disney (although everything gets reinvented and bowdlerized by them). He was already the stuff of legends in the 19th century.

Howe’s wonderful Historical Collections of Ohio weren’t rigorous works of scholarship. Instead, he traveled around the state , interviewing everyone, publishing their accounts without censorship. ”

Nobody is a villain in their own accounts, but in small communities, liars are quickly detected, and there are severe economic consequences to being thought untrustworthy. And Howe didn’t just relate the stories about Fink, he interviewed 81-year-old Fink in 1886.

It wouldn’t surprise me to find that originally, a fink was “another Mike Fink”

In 1903, Grandma won a county-wide essay contest in school, and the County Court judge presented her with the Statehood Centennial edition of Howe’s as a prize.

http://strattonhouse.com/index.php?section=history&content=31135117

2014/08/18
5:21am
tromboniator
Alaska
Member
Forum Posts: 395
Member Since:
2009/08/18
Online
2
0

Wonderful hypothesis, deaconB. I hope it’s true.

2014/08/18
8:32am
Robert
Member
Forum Posts: 415
Member Since:
2011/10/03
Offline
3
0

Wait a minute, there is an unspoken assumption here, that a famous name should figure in an etymology.  No.

2014/08/18
3:52pm
deaconB
Member
Forum Posts: 273
Member Since:
2013/10/17
Offline
4
0

Robert said
Wait a minute, there is an unspoken assumption here, that a famous name should figure in an etymology.  No.

The assumption is not that it should, but that it could, and perhaps did.

The contrary assumption, that a word meaning a dissolute person should be coined out of nothingness at a time that a dissolute person of the same unusual name is in the national consciousness seems incredibly coincidental

If you heard an artist called a pollack, would you think he was fishlike?  If you read that a young politician had a hillary, wouldn’t you assume his wife was ambitious and politically inclined?  If you heard that a musician was a miley, would you not assume she was free-spirited?

Words referencing pubic figures are often short-lived, but we still have hooker and sideburns in our vocabulary.

2014/08/18
9:57pm
Robert
Member
Forum Posts: 415
Member Since:
2011/10/03
Offline

That’s where the wonderment was at, and still stands  were not moot by  closer look at your quote: all about pioneers’ exploits and endearing foibles.

Forum Timezone: America/Los_Angeles

Most Users Ever Online: 1147

Currently Online: tromboniator
45 Guest(s)

Currently Browsing this Page:
1 Guest(s)

Top Posters:

Heimhenge: 788

Bob Bridges: 675

Ron Draney: 630

RobertB: 423

Robert: 415

tromboniator: 395

Dick: 393

samaphore: 312

dilettante: 287

deaconB: 273

Member Stats:

Guest Posters: 608

Members: 2988

Moderators: 1

Admins: 5

Forum Stats:

Groups: 1

Forums: 1

Topics: 3162

Posts: 16705

Newest Members: drue, timofranc, onemonthspanish, TragedyoftheMoon, Itercoyuk, repechek, britman, johninmilan, Paul Scollan, thesparrow

Administrators: Martha Barnette: 820, Grant Barrett: 1423, EmmettRedd: 640, Glenn: 1604, timfelten: 0