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BS: Omitted noun figure of speech

Bert 01 Mar 14 - 01:24 AM
meself 01 Mar 14 - 12:58 AM
McGrath of Harlow 28 Feb 14 - 10:01 PM
GUEST,ketchdana 28 Feb 14 - 08:05 PM
Lighter 28 Feb 14 - 08:02 PM
Doug Chadwick 28 Feb 14 - 07:41 PM
GUEST 28 Feb 14 - 07:11 PM
McGrath of Harlow 28 Feb 14 - 07:07 PM
Doug Chadwick 28 Feb 14 - 06:44 PM
Jim Dixon 28 Feb 14 - 06:40 PM
MartinRyan 28 Feb 14 - 05:22 PM
Mrrzy 28 Feb 14 - 05:13 PM
MartinRyan 28 Feb 14 - 05:10 PM
GUEST,weerover 28 Feb 14 - 04:13 PM
Jack the Sailor 28 Feb 14 - 04:01 PM
Ebbie 28 Feb 14 - 03:53 PM
Jack the Sailor 28 Feb 14 - 03:46 PM
GUEST,weerover 28 Feb 14 - 03:15 PM
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Subject: RE: BS: Omitted noun figure of speech
From: Bert
Date: 01 Mar 14 - 01:24 AM

Lighter, surely you mean "A word in your shell like" ;-)


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Subject: RE: BS: Omitted noun figure of speech
From: meself
Date: 01 Mar 14 - 12:58 AM

'Drop of the pure'? A 'pint of plain'.

A 'summit' meaning a gathering of big-shots (used anachronistically in The Tudors, btw).

A 'tough'.

A 'bad-ass' - from a 'bad-assed (fellow)'.

A "mother' - from a 'motherf@#$%^!'

A 'one', 'two', 'five', 'ten', etc., as denomination of currency. Or as hours of the clock, for that matter.

'Cell' for cell-phone.

In one community in which I lived for a time, a person might refer to their common-law spouse as "my common-law".


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Subject: RE: BS: Omitted noun figure of speech
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 28 Feb 14 - 10:01 PM

The difference is because the missing word in rhyming slang is just part of the phrase, on itself it wouldn't carry the meaning. "Boracic lint" means skint, and hence so does "boracic". But "lint" on its own does not.

In contrast "foggiest" implies "foggiest notion", but then that is also the essential meaning of "notion" on its own.
..........."

There's no particular reason to assume the Ancient Greeks did not go in for rhyming slang. It would be fun to find out that they did. But I suppose that might be hoping for too much.


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Subject: RE: BS: Omitted noun figure of speech
From: GUEST,ketchdana
Date: 28 Feb 14 - 08:05 PM

"Hey dude, nice move! You're the cat's!"
I know in general what it means, but not whether it refers to pajamas or a meow.
(And I am somewhat west-southwest of Hadrian's. 'Bout three thousand miles.)


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Subject: RE: BS: Omitted noun figure of speech
From: Lighter
Date: 28 Feb 14 - 08:02 PM

"Hemiteleia" isn't in the OED or any other authority I can find in English - except for Philip Howard's "A Word in Your Ear" (1983), where he applies it specifically to rhyming slang. That seems to be where Bill Bryson and Wikipedia found it.

You mean the Greeks had a special name for a secondary feature of Cockney rhyming slang?

Give me a break.

Presumably Howard discovered it in a Greek rhetoric, but if so it must mean something a little different in Greek. It looks to me as though it means "half completion," but personally I have even less Greek than Latin.

At any rate, the more familiar "ellipsis" would seem to be sufficient, unless you want to sound one up on the OED.


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Subject: RE: BS: Omitted noun figure of speech
From: Doug Chadwick
Date: 28 Feb 14 - 07:41 PM

McGoH, I don't see why it should be considered a different linguistic trick. In each case the dropped word is implied. The fact that one of them started out as a rhyme just makes a special case.

DC


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Subject: RE: BS: Omitted noun figure of speech
From: GUEST
Date: 28 Feb 14 - 07:11 PM

Foggiest is being used as the noun.


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Subject: RE: BS: Omitted noun figure of speech
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 28 Feb 14 - 07:07 PM

What happens in rhyming slang is that the rhyming word tends to be dropped - which of course is going to be the last word.

But it's a different linguistic trick really than dropping the noun where no rhyme is involved.

The Greeks used to go in for "stock epithets", such as in "wine-dark sea" or "ox-eyed Hera", especially Homer, to such an extent that they are referred to as "Homeric epithets". "New York's finest" and "foggiest notion" etc are really examples of the same thing in English. I wonder if the Greeks ever went in for dropped the noun and talking about "the wine dark" on its own. Seems quite likely to me.


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Subject: RE: BS: Omitted noun figure of speech
From: Doug Chadwick
Date: 28 Feb 14 - 06:44 PM

The process of omitting the last word in a phrase is common in Cockney rhyming slang.
Thus
       "hair"   (Barnet Fair)   - "She looks good, nice Barnet"
       "skint" (boracic lint)   - "I'd go for a pint but I'm boracic"
       "hat"    (tit for tat)      - "It's cold out today, I think I'll wear my titfer"

The Wiki entry for Cockney rhyming slang includes the following:
The construction involves replacing a common word with a rhyming phrase of two or three words and then, in almost all cases, omitting the secondary rhyming word (which is thereafter implied), in a process called hemiteleia.

So it would seem that "hemiteleia" may be the word that you're looking for.

DC


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Subject: RE: BS: Omitted noun figure of speech
From: Jim Dixon
Date: 28 Feb 14 - 06:40 PM

If this truly is a thing that needs a name, we ought to be able to think of a few more examples.

"New York's finest" comes to mind.

"Finest what?" I would always think, when I first heard this expression.

It's something of a cliche, and it always refers to police officers. It's even used as a slogan on the official NYPD web site. I've never heard any other police department use a phrase like it.

It's arguable that "finest" is a noun. Is it ever used as a noun in any other context?

If "finest" is an adjective, then I don't know what the missing noun would be.


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Subject: RE: BS: Omitted noun figure of speech
From: MartinRyan
Date: 28 Feb 14 - 05:22 PM

Yep, Mrrzy. I had it in my head that the primary meaning of "ellipsis" was that ... In fact it isn't - though I think my suggestion is reasonable and more specific.

Regards


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Subject: RE: BS: Omitted noun figure of speech
From: Mrrzy
Date: 28 Feb 14 - 05:13 PM

I believe it is called an ellipsis, like the ...'s you spell it with. Not that I'm ending sentences with prepositions, or the like.


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Subject: RE: BS: Omitted noun figure of speech
From: MartinRyan
Date: 28 Feb 14 - 05:10 PM

An elided referent?

Regards


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Subject: RE: BS: Omitted noun figure of speech
From: GUEST,weerover
Date: 28 Feb 14 - 04:13 PM

Jack, certainly not "just England", as I am somewhat north of Hadrian's wall.

wr


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Subject: RE: BS: Omitted noun figure of speech
From: Jack the Sailor
Date: 28 Feb 14 - 04:01 PM

I don't know anyone who does who isn't a bit of an anglophile. I was trying to be humourous. That fell flat. Though the possibility that the Greeks don't watch Downton Abby or "Masterpiece Mystery" still remains.

:-)


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Subject: RE: BS: Omitted noun figure of speech
From: Ebbie
Date: 28 Feb 14 - 03:53 PM

JtS, in America we do use 'I haven't the foggiest' and similar constructions. Not 'shell-like' and the like, though.


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Subject: RE: BS: Omitted noun figure of speech
From: Jack the Sailor
Date: 28 Feb 14 - 03:46 PM

I think those figures of speech may be unique to the UK, or maybe even just England. If that is the case, the Greeks would not have need for such a word.


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Subject: BS: Omitted noun figure of speech
From: GUEST,weerover
Date: 28 Feb 14 - 03:15 PM

The \Greeks have a word for everything, it's said. I'm sure there is a word for an adjective with its noun omitted, as in "I haven't the foggiest [idea]" or "A word in your shell-like [ear]", but I can't find it. Anyone?


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