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Earliest Usenet uses via Google Groups:

  • puerile: net.cooks - 1 Mar 1982 by zehntel
    Just because YOU don't like eggplant is no reason to force your puerile obsessions on the rest of us.
  • puerility: soc.culture.indian - 4 Oct 1986 by Ramachandran Sriram
    Postings like yours make up for all the "atavism", "puerility" and lack of HUMOUR on this otherwise "indecent" net.
  • most puerile: misc.misc - 16 May 1989 by Brian Ehrm
    Do you care to explain why you have taken your anti-gun crusade to misc.misc and other groups, where you are busy posting the most puerile of trash, instead of posting in talk.politics.guns, a forum dedicated specifically to discussing the gun issues, where you are likely to find informed opposition?
  • more puerile: alt.sources.d - 22 Jan 1991 by Tom Christiansen
    If that's your game, why don't you go off to Fidonet or some other even more puerile bulletin board system where this behavior may be more expected?
  • pueriles (error?): alt.society.anarchy - 22 Jun 1993 by Ian Heavens
    Notice how the anarchists are associated with 'blood', 'perversion', 'audacious and pueriles', whereas the Good Revolutionaries are 'normal' 'mature', appealing to the 'true nature of' public opinion.
  • pueriles: - 8 Aug 1996 by Mark Green
    But, Kult does not sell itself as "the card game for freaks and weirdos who want to look at pictures of butchered bodies", whereas Xxxenophile IS selling itself as "the game for pueriles who want to look at pictures of semi-naked women".


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English: "Characteristic of, or pertaining to, a boy or boys." Kappa 03:48, 20 February 2007 (UTC)

Yes. The OED confirms that definition exists in English. --EncycloPetey 04:12, 20 February 2007 (UTC)
I don't believe them. Kappa 04:38, 20 February 2007 (UTC)
Perhaps it would be helpful to note that the OED also notes this usage as rare/depreciative, as it should probably be noted in our dictionary. Atelaes 04:48, 20 February 2007 (UTC)
I think you might be confused about something; rare and depreciative are completely different things, and the OED is applying them to different senses here. (Rare means that a sense is not common; depreciative means that a sense is negative/derogatory/insulting. Note that depreciative is unrelated to deprecated, which might be what you're thinking of, though it is rather similar in sense to deprecating.) —RuakhTALK 04:55, 20 February 2007 (UTC)
I disagree; the OED makes a point of saying "boy or child", and it's not obvious that any of its cites are truly boy-specific in the way that our definition #1 suggests. —RuakhTALK 04:52, 20 February 2007 (UTC)
OED2+ goes on to say ...boyish.... I certainly have seen it used in that sense (as it clearly is in some of the new cites. This is the use that OED marks rare, and compared with the depreciative use as childish that is probably correct. But it does exist and is still used. --Enginear 21:30, 20 February 2007 (UTC)
My point is that the OED doesn't have any boy-specific sense; one of the senses may have a slightly leaning toward boys, but I think it's a stretch to say that the word can specifically mean "boy-like" as opposed to "girl-like". —RuakhTALK 21:58, 20 February 2007 (UTC)
And my point was that, though the OED implies, intentionally or otherwise, by using the word child in its sense 1, that puerile might sometimes be used of girls, it also specifically adds boy and boylike, and specifically does not mention girl or girllike. In our 2002 cite, it is important that boylike, rather than childlike or girllike is understood. I suspect that the only time puerile is used in this sense of girls, is when referring to a mixed group of children, as perhaps the 1948 cite (although without further context it is hard to tell). That is, it has the same degree of sex-specificity as words like men, actors, and indeed, if I remember correctly, the Latin pueri (plural of puer) and puerilis. Perhaps, adding "or to children generally" to the end of the definition (after "cf. puellile") would be appropriate. --Enginear 23:18, 20 February 2007 (UTC)
I suspect this comes from the fact that (in the past) literate people were trained in Latin, where the word puer "boy" would have been the obvious referent. The word puerile thus meant "like a boy". --EncycloPetey 22:38, 23 February 2007 (UTC)
Good point. (Sorry for the late reply; I somehow didn't notice your comment until now.) —RuakhTALK 22:56, 23 February 2007 (UTC)
Someone may also want to copyedit the exampes there, they seem to be cut and pasted from somewhere that uses an interesting character for their 's'. - [The]DaveRoss 15:35, 20 February 2007 (UTC)
The character to which you refer, ‘ſ’, is a long s, an archaïc form of the letter ‘s’, used in its stead everywhere except for at the end of words, and in instances of ‘ss’ (written ‘ſs’; from which combination evolved the German ‘ß’). If you were to read the cited text, you will find that I quoted it literatim. We are not supposed to “copyedit” cited sources.
I have added eight citations to this usage. At least five absolutely unambiguously show the usage. † Raifʻhār Doremítzwr 16:20, 20 February 2007 (UTC)
Actually, German ß did not evolve from strictly from "ss". It evolved from "sz" as well. See the Wikipedia article on ß. --EncycloPetey 22:38, 23 February 2007 (UTC)
I didn't know the ſ was available in our fonts, but it clearly is. What's the simplest way of typing it (other than cut and paste as I have just done)? --Enginear 21:30, 20 February 2007 (UTC)
It's U+017F, so ſ or ſ works. If we want something easier to remember, we could always create a {{long s}} or something. —RuakhTALK 21:58, 20 February 2007 (UTC)
Thanks. --Enginear 23:18, 20 February 2007 (UTC)

RFV passed. Thanks, † Raifʻhār Doremítzwr. (Incidentally, I've now added ſ to the edit-tools thing below the "Save page" button; select "Latin/Roman" in the dropdown, and you'll see it to the right of ß in the third-to-last group of characters.) —RuakhTALK 20:34, 31 May 2007 (UTC)

subtlety missingEdit

I think there's something missing here. There is a sense of this word that the modified noun is empty or cut off from genuine meaning and true importance. —This unsigned comment was added by Skysong263 (talkcontribs).

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