Blogs > Cliopatria > verboten verbs

Apr 29, 2006 1:45 pm


verboten verbs



Ralph Luker deploys a verb whose acceptability on television and in common speech mystifies me.

But were I confident in Neal Stephenson's etymology, I would be less puzzled:

"... she rides far too low in the water, and so she's got a great ugly Zog."...
"Zog is Dutch for 'wake' then?"
Dappa the linguist smiles yes...."And a much better word it is, because it comes from zuigen which means 'to suck.'... Any seaman will tell you that a ship's wake sucks on her stern, holding her back—the bigger the wake, the greater the suck, and the slower the progress. That schooner, Doctor Waterhouse, sucks."

That joke kept me going for the whole Baroque Cycle. Yes, I know, I'm easy.




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