OED Omissions.

Recently I’ve run across a couple of omissions from the OED that mildly surprised me; they’re not common usages, but they’re established enough you’d think the grand repository of the English wordhoard, which embraces even absurd hapaxes like pancakewards (1867 Cornhill Mag. Mar. 362 Her allowance would not admit of..a surreptitious egg, might her desire pancakewards be never so strong), would have entries for them:

1) Entry fine. I encountered this as the definition for a prerevolutionary French term, which I forgetlods et ventes [thanks, Xerîb!]; it means “a payment due when a new customary tenant entered land” and is frequently used in books dealing with relevant topics (“to all transfers of land was the imposition of the entry fine”; “Both of these variants confirm the principle that the entry fine was the responsibility of the incoming tenant”; “the 24,000 marks possibly paid as a relief or entry fine to Philip II of France for Richard’s French lands”; etc. etc.). The OED, s.v. entry, has “2. Law. The action or an act of taking up occupation of a piece of land, property, etc., as a legal assertion of ownership; the action or right of entering upon possession of land, property, etc.,” and the phrase writ of entry “a writ for the recovery of land or property from one claiming legal possession of it,” but not entry fine (and the word fine does not occur in the entry for entry).

2) Turquet/torquetum. This one has its own Wikipedia entry (with splendid illustrations):

The torquetum or turquet is a medieval astronomical instrument designed to take and convert measurements made in three sets of coordinates: Horizon, equatorial, and ecliptic. It is said to be a combination of Ptolemy’s astrolabon and the plane astrolabe.

There’s a detailed description in The History of the Telescope, by Henry C. King (p. 10):

Nasir ed-din el-Tusi is believed to have introduced the turquet or torquetum (Fig. 5), an instrument that became very popular in the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries. It was a kind of portable equatorial and altazimuth. To a base plate was hinged an inclinable plate which could be set in the plane of the celestial equator by adjusting the length of a graduated arm or stylus. At right angles to the inclinable plate was a polar axis carrying two circles. A movable alidade indicated declinations on the upper circle, while the equatorial circle, in the plane of the inclinable plate, indicated right ascensions. […] In any case, the torquetum appears to have been in regular use in the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries.

Torquetum occurs nowhere in the OED; turquet, amusingly, does… in two hapaxes with very different senses:

turquet, n.1
Obsolete. rare—1
A player dressed up to resemble a Turk.
1625 F. Bacon Ess. (new ed.) 225 Anti-masques..haue been commonly of Fooles, Satyres, Baboones, Wilde-Men, Antiques, Beasts, Sprites, Witches, Ethiopes, Pigmies, Turquets,..and the like.

turquet, n.2
Obsolete. rare—1
? Spelt. […]
1725 R. Bradley Chomel’s Dictionaire Œconomique at Stone A Remedy for the Stone and Gravel is, to take the Herb Turquet or Storch-Corn [sic], dry it and reduce it to Powder.

I trust the good folks at Oxford will take note and do the right thing.


  1. and the word fine does not occur in the entry for entry

    Did you mean the word entry doesn’t occur in the entry for fine. Anyway, fine, n1 7 seems to cover the compositional meaning.

  2. No, I meant that the word fine does not occur in the entry for entry, though it is also true that the word entry doesn’t occur in the entry for fine.

    Anyway, fine, n1 7 seems to cover the compositional meaning.

    I’m not sure what you mean; entry, n. 2 also seems to cover the compositional meaning if by that you mean you can get what the phrase means by putting senses together, but the fact is that entry fine is not there even though it is a fixed and well-established phrase with a specific meaning.

  3. Well, I know (or knew) fine only in the penalty sense and wouldn’t guess what “entry fine” means from the meaning of “entry”+”fine”. The question is how many other historical forms of X fine are out there and should have they listed them all. By the way, reading that OED fine n.1 7 I learned that there was apparently some trade-off between a lump sum payment (fine) and recurrent payment (rent). Something akin to our downpayment vs. mortgage.

  4. Another omission is pogonip. The word seems to have had a smouldering life in Western fiction ever since it was used by Louis L’Amour in his short story “Down the Pogonip Trail”:

    The pogonip! The dreaded fog that even the Indians feared, an icy fog that put a blanket of death over every shrub, every tree, even every blade of grass.

    Here is my favorite use of the word, by Gillian Welch in her song “Wrecking Ball”:

    Oh, just a little deadhead
    Who is watching, who is watching?
    I’s just a little deadhead
    I won a dollar on a scholarship
    Well, I got tired and let my average slip
    Then I’s a farmer in the pogonip
    Where the weed that I recall
    Was like a wrecking ball

    The word is of Numic origin. You can hear the word by typing in pakenappeh at the Shoshone Talking Dictionary and clicking on either of the two entries (representing two different speakers) that come up:
    I looked into the morphological breakdown a while ago. The element pakena- is “fog, cloud”, while the –ppeh is a suffix. There may be cognates elsewhere in Uto-Aztecan: perhaps Cahuilla páxiš, “fog”? There is an etymology in Wick R. Miller, James L. Tanner and Lawrence P. Foley, “A Lexicostatistic Study of Shoshoni Dialects”, Anthropological Linguistics, vol. 13, no. 4 (April 1971), p. 158:

    In the Panamint and the more southern Shoshoni area, pakənappəh is used for cloud, and sometimes also for fog. In the Panamint area, -kəna was said to mean to cover; pa- is clearly water, and -ppəh a noun forming suffix.

    From a brief look at Shoshone grammars, it appears that a suffix of the general form –(p)peh can also be an absolutive suffix on nouns and a perfective suffix on verbs. Maybe other Languagehat readers can add some precision here. The Proto-Uto-Aztecan *pa-, “water”, is well established.

  5. I would venture the French word you’re looking for is « octroi »? Our trusty TLF gives:
    1. Droit(s) d’octroi ou octroi. Taxe que certaines municipalités, pour subvenir aux dépenses communales (jusqu’en 1948), étaient autorisées à établir et percevoir sur certaines marchandises de consommation locale à leur entrée dans la ville.
    not a « fine » per se, but a tax. Many towns have a quarter or a building along the old walls or limits called the « Octroi » by metonymy.

  6. @Paul, a Realist octroi is Zola’s L’Assommoir, chapter 1: “cette muraille grise et interminable qui entourait la ville d’une bande de désert.” A musical one is the opening of act 3 of La Bohème.

  7. Was the French term lods et ventes, or maybe acapte?

  8. Stu Clayton says


    A good novel, I should read it again.

    # Elle regardait à gauche, enfilant un long ruban d’avenue, s’arrêtant, presque en face d’elle, à la masse blanche de l’hôpital de Lariboisière, alors en construction. Lentement, d’un bout à l’autre de l’horizon, elle suivait le mur de l’octroi, derrière lequel, la nuit, elle entendait parfois des cris d’assassinés ; et elle fouillait les angles écartés, les coins sombres, noirs d’humidité et d’ordure, avec la peur d’y découvrir le corps de Lantier, le ventre troué de coups de couteau. Quand elle levait les yeux, au delà de cette muraille grise et interminable qui entourait la ville d’une bande de désert, elle apercevait une grande lueur, une poussière de soleil, pleine déjà du grondement matinal de Paris. Mais c’était toujours à la barrière Poissonnière qu’elle revenait, le cou tendu, s’étourdissant à voir couler, entre les deux pavillons trapus de l’octroi, le flot ininterrompu d’hommes, de bêtes, de charrettes, qui descendait des hauteurs de Montmartre #

  9. Lars Mathiesen says

    octroyer < auctorizare

    E.g., det Kongelige Octroyerede Danske Asiatiske Compagnie from 1732, its business merged into the Honourable East India Company in 1845.

  10. Stu Clayton says

    Spanish otorgar < lat. vulg. *auctoricāre, der. del lat. auctor ‘garante’.

    German oktroyieren now only with the sense of imposing something felt to be onerous.

  11. Lars Mathiesen says

    I think one of the last oktrojer granted in Denmark was to the new national bank which in 1815 got a lien of 5% on all real property in the kingdom to back the reformed currency. Onerous would be mild, but being the king does cut the crap. (It was actually prolonged in 1905 but by then it was only a coinage monopoly, the liens had been paid off inside 25 years or so).

  12. AJP Crown says

    What’s the linguistic term for a word whose meaning is already better covered by another word? Well linguists don’t make those judgements but Hysteresis according to the New York Times seems to be used by some mechanical engineers (?) to describe what structural engineers & architects call elasticity.

    God, I hope I’m right. This is the kind of assertion you can get a good kicking for at LH if you’re wrong.

  13. PlasticPaddy says

    For me hysteresis is a result of elasticity, not another term for it. But I am not a mechanical engineer. The sort of result I am talking about is when something gets stuck in, or keeps returning to a particular (usually undesired) state, after being driven there by the user or technician (usually in error). Maybe our structural engineer will explain better.

  14. I have read a smattering of Anglo-Norman Irish history and knew sense 7 of fine n1 but not sense 2 of entry n.

    Octroi was a local customs/duty for anybody taking goods into a municipality — merchants or travellers. “Entry” appears to relate to establishing tenancy, which is residence, not just passing through.

    I don’t think there’s a clear line separating compositional phrases from fixed expressions. Coming across “entry fine” in a vacuum one could hardly be blamed for failing to parse it as “entry(2) fine(7)”, but in the right context those senses could be the most salient. I can’t say whether fine(7) is the prevalent value of X in all instances of “entry(2) X”, or whether entry(2) is the prevalent value of Y in all instances of “Y fine(7)”; if so, then it would be useful to give the compound its own dictionary-entry as a quasi-fixed expression; if not, not.

  15. Was the French term lods et ventes

    That’s it! Thanks very much. (Octroi is not really relevant at all, I’m afraid.)

    I can’t say whether fine(7) is the prevalent value of X in all instances of “entry(2) X”, or whether entry(2) is the prevalent value of Y in all instances of “Y fine(7)”; if so, then it would be useful to give the compound its own dictionary-entry as a quasi-fixed expression; if not, not.

    Nonsense. It is a fixed expression, no “quasi” about it, and should have its own entry, just like writ of entry and a zillion other such phrases.

  16. John Cowan says

    I’ll take a shot.

    Hysteresis in general is the situation in which the state of something depends on its history and not just on its current environment. For example, agar (the stuff in petri dishes on which bacteria are grown) is a jelly at room temperature, but will become a liquid at 85 C / 185 F. However, if you then let it cool down, it does not gel again until about 40 C / 104 F. This is quite unlike the behavior of water, which freezes and thaws at essentially the same temperature. So if you ask “Is agar solid or liquid at 60 C?” the answer is “It depends on how it got there: solid if it used to be cooler, liquid if it used to be warmer.”

    Elastic hysteresis in particular is nicely illustrated by this example from WP:

    The effect can be demonstrated using a rubber band with weights attached to it. If the top of a rubber band is hung on a hook and small weights are attached to the bottom of the band one at a time, it will stretch and get longer. As more weights are loaded onto it, the band will continue to stretch because the force the weights are exerting on the band is increasing. When each weight is taken off, or unloaded, the band will contract as the force is reduced. As the weights are taken off, each weight that produced a specific length as it was loaded onto the band now contracts less, resulting a slightly longer length as it is unloaded. This is because the band does not obey Hooke’s law [that strain is proportional to stress] perfectly.

    In terms of force, the rubber band was harder to stretch when it was being loaded than when it was being unloaded. In terms of time, when the band is unloaded, the effect (the length) lagged behind the cause (the force of the weights) because the length has not yet reached the value it had for the same weight during the loading part of the cycle. In terms of energy, more energy was required during the loading than the unloading, the excess energy being dissipated as thermal energy.

    Steel is actually more elastic than rubber in the appropriate force range. When a nut-and-bolt are finger-tight, there is no elastic deformation yet: when you get to wrench-tight, all the elasticity has been taken up. But it takes roughly the same force with a wrench to loosen as to tighten (ignoring the effect whereby a nut gets frozen in place by being there for a long time), so steel does not exhibit elastic hysteresis under a moderate load. But deform it enough under load and it will.

    Historical linguistics and evolutionary biology are all about hysteresis to the point where the concept isn’t even needed because it’s taken for granted; “everything is the way it is because it got that way” (D’Arcy Wentworth Thompson).

  17. Lars Mathiesen says


    ὑστέρησις (lagging behind) used to be a pretty nerd worthy concept when discussing the characteristics of open reel tape recording heads. Strictly speaking it describes that some aspects of a system’s state depend on other parameters, but past as well as present values. (This usually leads to dissipation of ‘usable’ energy to other forms, ultimately heat). The magnetic coating on the tape also exhibits hysteresis, that’s why tape recorders even work.

    Inelastic deformation is another instance of hysteresis, though it was first used for the properties of magnetic materials.

    Actually the process described in the NYT article is a sort of irreversible reorganization of (almost perfectly) elastic elements. Well, a reorganization that doesn’t reverse spontaneously. This dissipates energy that you won’t get back if you force the structure back to its original shape, but since the application doesn’t involve the full cycle it’s a somewhat extended usage of hysteresis. The salient point is that it doesn’t bounce back.

  18. Hysteresis has got to be one of the worst technical terms I’ve ever run across; it’s impossible to keep in mind what it means (obviously for those of us who don’t use it regularly).

  19. Lars Mathiesen says

    It doesn’t follow easily from the etymology. I had the advantage of learning it from HiFi magazines before I knew from Greek, the look of a hysteresis curve is indelibly stamped on my mind.

    It turns out that the Classical Greek for ‘womb’ and ‘later’ are both formally = ‘outer,’ so hysteria and hysteresis are as related as they look.

  20. @John Cowan: You had it all right up until your last paragraph. Evolutionary processes are stochastic but not hysteretic. Both phenomena mean that the future state cannot be predicted based solely on the present state, but they are otherwise unrelated.

  21. hysteria and hysteresis: The Greek source is also cognate with Latin uterus. The PIE source *úderos ‘abdomen, stomach’ comes from a comparative of *úd ‘out’, the source of out and cognates in many branches.

  22. I think hysteresis is a pretentious way of remarking on a permanent deformation whereas elasticity and the collection of associated terms (E, elastic modulus, elastic limit, yield point, Hooke’s law* etc.) measure deformation both in Physics and structural engineering, and plasticity is the term for what happens once the yield point (point of no return) is reached.

    * For Latin Lovers: Robert Hooke announced what became Hooke’s law as “ceiiinosssttuv” in 1675, an anagram of its letters placed alphabetically. He published the Latin solution to this in 1678: Ut tensio, sic vis “As the extension (deflection), so is the force”. From that you get the linear relation of stress to strain. ALSO, it was Hooke who discovered that the profile of an arch ought to approximate an upside-down catenary, a hanging chain (a catenary bears its own weight only, unlike most arches or the cable of a suspension bridge). In an appendix to his Description of Helioscopes, he wrote he had found

    a true mathematical and mechanical form of all manner of Arches for Building: abcccddeeeeeefggiiiiiiiiillmmmmnnnnnooprrsssttttttuuuuuuuux.

    The solution was provided by his executor in 1705: Ut pendet continuum flexile, sic stabit contiguum rigidum inversum ‘A flexible cable when inverted stands as the contiguous pieces of an arch.’ See it here. I wonder whether Fermat wasn’t doing this coy ‘we magicians don’t reveal our secrets’ thing with his margin that wasn’t big enough.

  23. David Marjanović says


    I tried to figure out where the t comes from. Very weird. I guess Italic randomly replaced *-ero- by *-tero- at some point… but if so, why t and not tt?

    *lightbulb moment* It’s Crotonian. That would have turned *úd- into *ut- without any need for *-tero-.

  24. John Cowan says

    You had it all right up until your last paragraph.

    Not surprising, as I cribbed the examples from Wikipedia.

    Evolutionary processes are stochastic but not hysteretic.

    First time for me seeing that word, though it’s obvious enough.

    I accept your word that they are not hysteretic, though I don’t understand why not. But although evolution stricto sensu, change in allele frequencies, is stochastic, evolution by natural selection is certainly not stochastic, and has all sorts of one-way paths. Phonemes that fuse don’t split again, or if they do (as in Polish nasal vowels or for that matter transatlantic consonants continents), it’s along different lines.

  25. John Cowan says

    ‘we magicians don’t reveal our secrets’

    The point was to establish your priority retroactively when you weren’t in a position to publish. This is no longer done because priority is given to the first to publish no matter what.

    In 1610 Galileo sent a cryptogram to Kepler in a letter: Haec immatura a me iam frustra leguntur O.Y. ‘These unready things are read by me in vain’, with the O.Y. two letters he couldn’t fit in. A few months later he explained it as Cynthia figuras aemulatur mater amoris ‘The mother of love imitates the shapes of Cynthia.’ This reflected his discovery of the phases of Venus, something that would be impossible in a Ptolemaic solar system; the delay gave him extra time observing the planet so he could be sure he was right.

    But TIL that Kepler had already deciphered it as Macula rufa in Jove est gyratur mathem. etc. ‘There is a red spot in Jupiter that revolves mathematically [i. e. perfectly regularly]’! This is of course also true, but was not discovered until 1885 (unless indeed it is the case that the spot seen by Cassini in 1665 but lost sight of after 1713 was the same storm).

  26. David Marjanović says
  27. But TIL that Kepler had already deciphered it as Macula rufa in Jove est gyratur mathem. etc. ‘There is a red spot in Jupiter that revolves mathematically [i. e. perfectly regularly]’!


  28. Lars Mathiesen says

    As I understand it, an irreversible process is not called hysteretic.

    A light switch is engineered to have hysteresis — there’s a sprung widget inside so that you have to push it past the halfway point in either direction to change it from on to off or vice versa. Whether the light is on at the halfway point depends on where you come from.

    A foam cushion is inelastic, it will deform and absorb a fair amount of kinetic energy when you hit it but the return to its original shape is slow and doesn’t give you back your energy. It does return, however. It’s hysteretic in the sense that the force on your hand at a given deformation depends on whether it’s going down or up. (And at what speed). A trampoline, on the other hand, is engineered to have as little hysteresis as possible.

    As to uterus, I wonder why people want *ud-eros for that when it’s *ud-teros that gives the-st- in Greek.

  29. Trond Engen says

    For me as an engineer, hysteresis is what occurs when a cyclic process is not elastic — i.e. it’s not the spring, it’s the dampener. When the forwards and return paths follow different paths in a work diagram, there is a an area in the middle that typically represents energy lost. In a trampoline or an engine you want this area to be as small as possible, in e.g design for seismic forces, you may want hysteresis to take care of as much as possible — you would want the building to absorb energy by irreversible but non-fatal deformation.

    Economists use hysteresis for the loss of output (and thus, welfare) when people go without work in periods of boom-and bust.

  30. January First-of-May says

    In 1610 Galileo sent a cryptogram to Kepler in a letter

    In fact Galileo has sent two cryptograms to Kepler in 1610, this being the second. The first was the more cryptogram-looking smaismrmilmepoetaleumibunenugttauiras (which didn’t actually mean anything in Latin).

    This was some months later (though still prior to sending the second one) revealed as standing for Altissimum planetam tergeminum observavi “I have observed the highest planet as threefold” (i.e. that he had seen bumps on Saturn – in fact due to the presence of rings, though it took a few more decades, and better telescopes, to figure that out).

    Kepler, however, had already deciphered it as Salve umbistineum geminatum Martia proles “Hail, furious twins, children of Mars”, effectively claiming that Mars had two moons – which, though indeed also true, had not been confirmed until 1877.

    It had apparently been suggested that the ciphertext of the second cryptogram should be interpreted as something along the lines of “My first attempt of this didn’t work”, referring to the previous cryptogram (though even if so, it’s not clear whether the “didn’t work” part would have been referring to it being incorrectly solved, or to the ciphertext not forming a sentence in Latin).

  31. Chicken are dead, send a new telescope [A joke only Russian of a certain age can get]. Part 1 and Part 2 (in Russian).

  32. When Christian Huygens observed in 1655* that what Galileo** had earlier taken to be moons were actually rings (a hitherto unknown phenomenon in astronomy), he also released his results as a cryptic anagram. Rather than in a personal letter to colleagues, Huygens published a pamphlet in 1656, although unfortunately no copies survive, and there are differing accounts of how the letters were placed. He did not reveal the solution until 1658, which was: “ANNULO CINGITUR TENUI, PLANO, NUSQUAM COHAERENTE AD ECLIPTICAM INCLINATO,” meaning, “It is surrounded by a ring, thin and flat, never touching, oblique in relation to the ecliptic.”

    * It is sometimes said that Huygens had the benefit of observing Saturn from a better angle, which would have made the rings clearer, but I do not see how this could be the case. Saturn’s orbital period is about 29 years, which puts Huygens’s observations just about one and a half orbits after Galileo’s, which would not yield a better angle. The difference in what the two astronomers could make out was thus purely a matter or technological improvements in their telescopes.

    ** I watched the Beatles video for “Paperback Writer” with my sons last weekend. It was filmed in the gardens of Chiswick House and includes some shots of the statuary, including an early image of a bust of Socrates. I asked my eight-year-old if he could identify who the bust was of, and he guessed Galileo, which was a pretty good educated guess, I thought.

  33. Chicken are dead, send a new telescope [A joke only Russian of a certain age can get]. Part 1 and Part 2 (in Russian).

    Delightful, thanks for that! (Here’s a transcript of a version of the joke.) Сидоров катапультирован!

  34. John Cowan says

    I researched much of this but decided it would be anticlimactic. However, I’m glad that other people posted it (including stuff I didn’t find).

    The GT translation of that transcript is pure Marx Brothers.

    In 1726 Jonathan Swift mentioned the moons of Mars in the “Voyage to Laputa” section of Gulliver’s Travels. He got the number right and the distances from Mars wrong (1.4 and 3.5 diameters out, whereas 3 and 5 diameters are correct). It’s been supposed that if the Earth had one moon and Jupiter four, Swift might have guessed two as the geometric mean.

  35. Lars Mathiesen says

    @Trond, exactly. It’s what I’m trying to describe as well. The spring in a toggle switch dissipates the work your finger does as sound (and heat), if you draw a force vs position diagram you’ll get the classical curve.

    (I was unclear earlier, sorry, I’m not talking about momentaries where the spring does act to return the switch to open and there is no hysteresis).

  36. David Marjanović says

    it’s *ud-teros that gives the -st- in Greek.

    That would give nothing short of usserus in Latin, or perhaps usterus if the *-tero- part was restored to visibility at some point.

  37. John Cowan says

    A nice feature of Kepler’s cryptanalysis is that it accounts for the periods in O.Y. as following the abbreviated words mathem and etc, but which for Galileo had had no significance. These things can happen: in a famous incident during the Battle of Leyte Gulf, U.S Admiral Nimitz sent a message to his subordinate Admiral Halsey, “Where repeat where is Task Force 34?” This task force existed only on paper and its ships were fully integrated with the rest of Halsey’s forces, but Nimitz far away in Hawai’i had not understood that. He sent the message purely for information and in response to a call for help from Admiral Kincaid near Leyte, who had just been attacked by Japanese ships arriving from an unexpected direction.

    In accordance with Navy regulations then, Nimitz’s message with its preceding metadata was sent with random meaningless phrases at the beginning and the end (often vulnerable points for cryptanalysis. as they are often highly predictable). These were set off from the true content by a doubled letter, and were supplied by the enciphering clerk. So what Halsey’s radio operator got, after decryption, was “Turkey trots to water GG [metadata] where repeat where is task force thirty four RR the world wonders.”

    However, the operator wasn’t quite sure, despite the RR, that the last phrase wasn’t part of the message. So Halsey received it as “Where repeat where is task force thirty fourrr the world wonders”. He interpreted this as a “harsh and sarcastic rebuke” for his earlier action (in leaving Leyte to attack a Japanese battle group which turned out to be basically maskirovka) about which Nimitz in fact knew nothing. Halsey exploded and then went into a funk for about an hour before he and his ships (including Task Force 34) headed for Leyte, arriving too late to have any effect on the battle.

    See also unicity distance, the amount of text that must be encrypted to be sure that there is on average only one meaningful cryptanalysis. The value depends on the type of cipher used, the number of characters in the plaintext alphabet, and the entropy per character of the plaintext language.

  38. Regarding the anagram Galileo sent to Kepler, that solution relating to Venus was:

    Cynthiae figuras aemulatur mater amorum

    Source: M. Brake, Revolution in Science: How Galileo and Darwin Changed Our World, p.156. https://books.google.co.uk/books?id=D0wiDQAAQBAJ&pg=PA156&lpg=PA156&source=bl&ots=tve1ENj3wn&sig=ACfU3U2YnDrlxdyf6nzLJpx3eUwt3VbywQ&hl=en&sa=X&ved=2ahUKEwizyta7g67oAhUFZcAKHbqoDHQQ6AEwAXoECAsQAQ#v=onepage&q=%22Macula%20rufa%20in%22&f=false

    As for the supposed alternative solution “Macula rufa in Ioue est gyratur mathem. etc.”, the “etc” doesn’t help, and removing it leaves the anagram text lacking three different letters: AMR.

  39. It turns out that the Classical Greek for ‘womb’ and ‘later’ are both formally = ‘outer,’ so hysteria and hysteresis are as related as they look.

    hysteria and hysteresis: The Greek source is also cognate with Latin uterus. The PIE source *úderos ‘abdomen, stomach’ comes from a comparative of *úd ‘out’, the source of out and cognates in many branches.

    OTOH, histrionic “from stem of Latin histrio (genitive histrionis) “actor,” a word said to be of Etruscan origin. ” [etymonline] has nothing (etymologically) to do with hysteria/uterus.

    And yet we find the trick-cyclist industry — even a relatively sober and ‘scientifically-informed’ representative — conflating them in hopeless confusion; the wikipedia article is similarly contaminated.

    Long associated with the historical term hysteria – histrionic being a derivative – … alleged in an article purporting to explain the classification in the DSM.

    (Asking for a friend.) I believe there’s some psychology-informed folk who hang out here. Is a diagnosis of HPD distinguishable from woo-woo?

    I have similar linguistic questions about ‘Borderline PD’ — allegedly on the border between Psychosis and Neurosis [**], except both those terms are nowadays entirely discredited. So … on the border between one load of codswallop and another load of claptrap? The linguistically related ‘Neuroticism’ does, however, persist as one of the ‘Big Five’ personality traits.

    [**] Both terms introduced by Freud — whose status today seems to parallel Chomsky’s in Linguistics: founded the field (allegedly) but wrong in just about everything he said within it.

  40. Hysteria and histrionics: if i and y were completely interchangeable, I would be referred to as Y.

    There’s something to the comparison between Freud and Chomsky, except that Freud was far less scientific than Chomsky. Generative linguists try to make their models testable, and when they don’t work out they modify them, ever optimistically striving for The Grand Theory. Psychoanalytical theory (Freudian, Jungian, Lacanian, what have you) does not attempt empirical confirmation, except by how well its believers make their patients feel better.

  41. “I would be referred to as Y” — Y see what U did there

  42. In earlier times, U would be referred to as V.

  43. Only if you were being formal; otherwise it would be T.

  44. John Cowan says

    Hysteron proteron (rhetoric) and hysterodynamic (Indo-European linguistics) fit here too.

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