PANCOAST.

An occasional feature here at LH is Family Names With Surprising Etymologies (e.g., Janeway), and today’s is Pancoast. When my nonagenarian mother-in-law mentioned that somebody she’d known seventy years ago was called that, I thought she might be misremembering, but no, it turns out there is such a name, and furthermore, it’s a chopped-down form of Pentecost! Man, I love etymology.
Totally unrelated, but in honor of an exchange between John Emerson and Aidan Kehoe in this thread, here‘s a good Penny Arcade. (Thanks, Songdog!)

Comments

  1. Old bunt? I though the word “bunt” originated in the famous Monty Python sketch (“bolour supplement”). You’re telling me it actually exists?

  2. Joe Kennedy says:

    Pancoast tumor (described by Henry Pancoast MD in 1932)is well known to oncologists and surgeons as a type of lung cancer presenting with unusual pain.

  3. Hairs on a bobbin sound like they could be machine-wrapped, with butter.

  4. Hmm, interesting how people seem rarely to imitate contemporary usage when they want to characterise a certain speech group. Sacré bleu and mon Dieu are still common in faux-French, a few generations after the death of sectarian swearing in France, that Penny Arcade strip tends towards the Edwardian and Victorian and certainly has very little to do with the way Brits speak today, Hallo is much more common as a greeting in German than Guten Tag. I can’t think of a non-European example right now, though.

  5. “How” as a generic American Indian greeting, probably Lakhota, or maybe something further east.

  6. You’re telling me it actually exists?
    No, no, please don’t take this comic as an indication of actual usage! It’s an American’s over-the-top impression of what archaic Brit slang sounds like to Americans—no truth value implied.

  7. Doug Sundseth says:

    Another FNWSE* is Tolliver (also Telfair and others), from Taliaferro. So this would be yet another “Smith” cognate.
    * Unless this is an instance of the dreaded “folk etymology”, in which case I expect I’ll soon be disabused.

  8. Umm, we really did use the term “bunt” when I was at school in New Zealand – meaning the easy-peasy throw and subsequent strike of a ball in softball and similar games.
    And anyway, what else would they make bunting out of?

  9. Yes, but you didn’t call people “old bunt,” did you, eh, pipper?
    I guess I should expand on my answer to bulbul, though: bunt is definitely a word (it’s used in American baseball to mean a soft hit that’s supposed to roll a few yards in front of home plate), but it’s not used as a term of address.
    Doug Sundseth: You’re correct about Tolliver (it’s basically a phonetic spelling of Tagliaferro); Tollfree, on the other hand, which looks like it might be of the same origin, is actually from Old Norse Thorfrothr.

  10. No, no, please don’t take this comic as an indication of actual usage!
    Don’t worry, I wasn’t. It sounded too good to be true anyway :o)
    bunt is definitely a word (it’s used in American baseball to mean a soft hit that’s supposed to roll a few yards in front of home plate)
    Thanks for the explanation. I only managed to google a connection with baseball, but got lost there.
    Still, I love that MP expression “What a silly bunt”. I think I’ll start using it. Anybody wanna join me?

  11. “Bint” is a reall word.

  12. But “reall” isn’t.

  13. Sacré bleu and mon Dieu are still common in faux-French, a few generations after the death of sectarian swearing in France…
    They’re dead in France? Calice de tabernac! They’re alive and well in Quebec and l’Acadie!

  14. The average American doesn’t say “yee-hah!” very often.

  15. People in Minnesota really do say “Uffda” and “Ja”, all right.

  16. “How!” is perfectly good Hopi, spelled “haw” in Hopi’s roman orthography. I remember the sample sentence, “Haw, um waynuma?” “Hi, are you around?”.

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