Talk:upper

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Tea room discussionEdit

Note: the below discussion was moved from the Wiktionary:Tea room.


I'm thinking about adding a noun defintion to upper, from which derive washer-upper, cheerer-upper, looker-upper, beater-upper etc. and I'm struggling to do better than "an agent noun for phrasal verbs ending in up". Also, is there a linguistic name for the process of changing these phrasal verbs into nouns? --Jackofclubs 13:18, 1 March 2009 (UTC)

  • Clearly, this is not convential English - colloquial or slang at best. Similar situations arise with e.g. maker-outer, cooler-downer and theoretically with all phrasal verbs however ugly they sound (emailer-backer sniffer-arounder? puller-togetherer? comer-upper-wither? getter-ridder-offer?) There's a few googles for all these terms, although mostly none of them are CFI-meeters. --Jackofclubs 13:25, 1 March 2009 (UTC)
  • I wouldn't say those derive from upper. The term washer-upper comes from wash up + -er. --EncycloPetey 03:40, 3 March 2009 (UTC)
    • Dalzell's New Patridge agrees with you, noting that washer-up is the original agentive formation, to which a second -er is added, and to which, for comic effect, a third -er is sometimes added: washer-upperer.

      I am not suprised, given the apparent tendency to stick as many -ers on the end as possible, that we have washer-upper but don't yet have the older (Google Books has occurrences from the 1820s.), more common (and more sensible) washer-up. ☺ Uncle G 02:12, 6 March 2009 (UTC)

Last modified on 15 September 2012, at 15:53