UNDERLOOKED.

Mark Liberman at the Log has a post about a (re)coinage found in this Candace Buckner sports story for the Kansas City Star in a quote from high school lineman Shane Ray: “As a team, we don’t like that feeling of being underlooked…” The guy who sent Mark the link speculated that “underlooked” is a blend of “overlooked” and “underestimated,” and Mark agreed—but pointed out that the OED has it with a figurative sense, “To miss seeing by looking too low,” with a citation from over 200 years ago:
1802 BEDDOES Hygëia II. 56 Do they not underlook that sole essential condition to happiness, the inward state?
(I tried to check this with Google Books, but Google has apparently only digitized Volume I—could it be they don’t realize there’s a second volume?)
Mark asks “Is there a name for a coinage that re-discovers an old and rare word?” Commenters suggest “neo-con,” “paleologism,” “reologism,” and “neopaleologism.”

Comments

  1. Why have a new word for this when “rediscovered old word” serves fine? The mad scientists at language log are like architects who can never stop redecorating their houses, they MUST coin new words. Why don’t they just redecorate their houses in their spare time, and leave the word coining to people like architects?
    By the way if you want to see a good hat, look at the Druse woman from 1873, currently pictured at Rio Wang.

  2. I scrolled down and knew immediately which woman you were talking about even before I saw the caption. She’s the one in the middle here, to save others the scroll (though you really should go through the whole post, with its amazing photos of old Damascus).

  3. Teh Log is having server problems at the moment so I can’t see if anyone else has commented on this (and I’m going to lose my own server in about 4 min.) but this sounds to me like AAVE. A photograph of the player, Shane Ray is not conclusive, at least to me. I know a lot of archaic Shakespearean constructions have been preserved in Carribean English dialects, why not in the U.S. too?

  4. oops. A photograph of the player, Shane Ray
    …and it’s “Caribbean”.

  5. Shane Ray again. Even if he isn’t, isn’t AAVE now moving into mainstream English, at least in the suburbs, via rap?

  6. This is not AAVE, for heaven’s sake, it’s just an unusual word. Who cares what he looks like, look at the rest of the quote; he’s speaking perfectly standard English.

  7. You’re right, they’re fantastic pictures of Damascus.

  8. michael farris says:

    I’ll take hat’s word for it that it’s not AAVE, but … there is something AAVE-ish about that kind of coining.
    That is, IME AAVE speakers (especially bi-dialectals) come up with original coinages of that kind in SAE pretty often (at least more often than SAE mono-dialectal folks do).
    …and the last I knew AAVE was an informal prestige dialect for high school kids.

  9. IME AAVE speakers (especially bi-dialectals) come up with original coinages of that kind in SAE pretty often
    How often I have wished I could play back and remember some of the expressions I hear in faculty meetings. I have no idea if they are instantaneous coinages or part of the idiolect.

  10. IME AAVE speakers (especially bi-dialectals) come up with original coinages of that kind in SAE pretty often (at least more often than SAE mono-dialectal folks do)
    I’m guessing confirmation bias is at work here. SAE speakers come up with such things all the time.

  11. Wiktionary has the definition of “a dirty, fastidious or critical look; scowl, leer,” added in April of this year by a user that has “been studying the Old English language for many, many years now.”

  12. This makes me think of the obscure Swedish word “rödma” (‘redness’), last encountered in an early 16th century medical manuscript but now with several attestations in the Swedish blogosphere. After several centuries in the doldrums, the rare Swedish -ma suffix has suddenly become productive in blogspeak, hence the recoinage. It currently features in two words in the standard language, “fetma” (‘obesity’) and “sötma” (‘sweetness’), but recent coinages like “kåtma” (‘horniness’) and “tröttma” (‘tiredness’) abound in the blogs.

  13. Hygëia is three volumes. The link above is to Volume II. Google Books also has Volume I, but the scan is incomplete. The quotation is taken from Essay II, which is in Volume I. Each essay is paginated separately, which probably explains why GB starts with Essay IV right after the prefatory material: somebody omitted to check some box in some scan UI to get multiple main numbered sections or something.
    I am sending LH a scan of the page in question, since images aren’t allowed here.
    It is worth noting that Beddoes has italicized the word.

  14. Thanks very much! Beddoes, writing of wealth-seekers, says:

    —Do not their grovelling views for ever rest upon certain outward helps? and hence do they not underlook that sole essential condition to happiness, the inward state?

  15. The hat is prodigious, but don’t underlook the shoes on the woman to the left.

  16. marie-lucie says:

    Those shoes are pattens. Instead of just high heels, the whole shoe is lifted up. These shoes (or overshoes) were popular in Europe in earlier centuries (see Wikipedia) for crossing muddy streets. Not for walking very far though.

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