Set 48 – Five New Words for Feb 17

Theme: French words that are now anglicized

1. alley-oop (al-ee-OOP)

MEANING:

interjection: Used as an exhortation or to signal the start of an activity. For example, when coordinating efforts to lift something heavy.

noun: A basketball move in which a player throws the ball to a teammate near the basket who leaps to catch it in mid-air and then puts it in the basket before returning to the floor.

ETYMOLOGY:
Phonetic respelling of French allez-hop or allez-oop, cry of a circus performer about to leap. From French allez, imperative of aller (to go) + hop/oop (an expressive word).

USAGE:
“You couldn’t haul bodies without a partner and you needed to be able to talk, even if it was only to say alley-oop.”

“Jawanza Poland soared to the basket and flushed home an alley oop.”

2. kickshaw (KIK-shaw)

noun:
1. A fancy dish; delicacy.
2. A trinket.

ETYMOLOGY:
From phonetic respelling of French quelque chose (something) as kickshaws which was treated as a plural and turned into the singular kickshaw.

USAGE:
“I assume it’s a gloriously handsome affair … slices of homemade seed cake and other toothsome kickshaws.”

“A more sophisticated eye might cringe at the odd little kickshaws displayed about the room, but I appreciated the whimsy.”

3. toot sweet (toot sweet)

MEANING:
adverb: Quickly; immediately.

ETYMOLOGY:
Phonetic respelling of French tout de suite (at once, straight away).

USAGE:
“Martinson called the cops and told them to get a patrol car to her house toot sweet.”

4. parry (PAR-ee)

MEANING:
verb tr.: To ward off or evade.
noun: A defensive movement or an evasive answer.

ETYMOLOGY:
From French parez (ward off), imperative of parer (to ward off), from Latin parare (to set or prepare).

USAGE:
“In the way Ryan Gosling parried questions with polite, self-deprecating charm, you could still see the Canadian in him.”

5. Mayday or mayday (MAY-day)

MEANING:
noun: A distress signal; a call for help.

ETYMOLOGY:
Mayday is an international radio distress signal used by ships and aircraft to call for help. It’s a phonetic respelling of French m’aider, from venez m’aider (come and help me), from venir (to come) + me (me) + aider (to help).

USAGE:
“Auckland Westpac Rescue Helicopter flew to the aid of a yachtsman who made a mayday call this morning off the coast of Raglan.”

“Rooms [at Hotel Bel-Air are] so high-tech I felt like a 747 pilot. Helpful techies arrived promptly no matter how often I radioed Mayday.”

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s