Proof Americans and Brits speak a different language

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  • It's Robert Frost, Provide, Provide - so an American poet.

    I wondered if boughten was West Country dialect, which a lot of so-called Americanisms are, but not that I could find, and I am not sure enough that I remember it being used.
  • Gee DGee D Shipmate
    Thanks for the attribution.
  • FirenzeFirenze Shipmate, Host Emeritus
  • john holdingjohn holding Ecclesiantics Host, Mystery Worshipper Host
    It's Robert Frost, Provide, Provide - so an American poet.

    I wondered if boughten was West Country dialect, which a lot of so-called Americanisms are, but not that I could find, and I am not sure enough that I remember it being used.

    Boughten is one of a number of archaic words that crop up from time to time in the speech of some children who assume regularity where current usage has given regular forms up.
  • Gill HGill H Shipmate
    Does it crop up in the ‘Little House’ books? Sounds like it might.
  • I should have checked the dictionaries. Both the Concise Oxford and Webster's (our duelling weapons of choice) list 'boughten' as a dialect word with no indication that it is not considered to be in current use on either side of the water.
  • EnochEnoch Shipmate
    Boughten is one of a number of archaic words that crop up from time to time in the speech of some children who assume regularity where current usage has given regular forms up.
    Not sure about that as an explanation. If it was, wouldn't they say either 'buyed' (pronounced buy'd') or just possibly 'boughted'?

  • Since I hear it here, it's not about the Little House books, British dialect. It's something that goes with Ukrainian accents and pickup trucks "so we're having store boughten bread with farm eggs for breakfast eh?" "yup, then we gotta go to the back 40 to see about the fence the deer went through."
  • Speaking of past participles, but this is slightly beyond the scope of this thread as it relates to antipodeans - I have heard some (not all) Kiwis and Aussies pronounce words like "known" and "grown" with an extra syllable. Has anybody else heard "knowen" and "growen"? Is it from particular regions?
  • mousethief wrote: »
    Store boughten bread. Common in rural Sask.

    Here we'd say store-bought bread. I don't know if I've ever seen "boughten" before.

    I've seen it in a bunch of places, but all old writings (probably contemporary with @Stercus Tauri's grandmother).
  • Nick TamenNick Tamen Shipmate
    edited July 19
    mousethief wrote: »
    Store boughten bread. Common in rural Sask.

    Here we'd say store-bought bread.
    Yes, “store-bought” is very common here (American South), generally in contrast to homemade.

    Gee D wrote: »
    Neither had we, but it sounds like a past participle.
    Or an adjective form, like “oaken” or “wooden.”

  • Speaking of past participles, but this is slightly beyond the scope of this thread as it relates to antipodeans - I have heard some (not all) Kiwis and Aussies pronounce words like "known" and "grown" with an extra syllable. Has anybody else heard "knowen" and "growen"? Is it from particular regions?

    This is heard someplaces in Canada too. The two syllable word I hear on American media is dog. It sounds line daw-awg to me. Australians saying no is not quite two syllables and inconsistent, moreso if it's a vigorous no.
  • Gee DGee D Shipmate
    Nick Tamen wrote: »
    Gee D wrote: »
    Neither had we, but it sounds like a past participle.
    Or an adjective form, like “oaken” or “wooden.”

    But they are adjectives from a noun, rather than this unusual adverb from the verb. I should have picked up that quotation as being from Robert Frost - it is just the sort of word he'd use.

    As to some more recent posts, "store-bought" for cakes etc is common here, not much for bread.
  • Nick TamenNick Tamen Shipmate
    Gee D wrote: »
    Nick Tamen wrote: »
    Gee D wrote: »
    Neither had we, but it sounds like a past participle.
    Or an adjective form, like “oaken” or “wooden.”

    But they are adjectives from a noun, rather than this unusual adverb from the verb.
    Sure, but it still sounds like the adjectives formed from nouns like “oaken” and “wooden.” I wouldn’t completely dismiss the possibility for conflation that might present.

  • Leorning CnihtLeorning Cniht Shipmate
    edited July 20
    Gee D wrote: »
    But they are adjectives from a noun, rather than this unusual adverb from the verb.

    I assume you meant "adjective from the verb".

    Wroughten is also a word, although not one that I think enjoys current use. There are probably some other similar archaic uses.

    Bespoken follows the same pattern, no?
  • Gee DGee D Shipmate
    Gee D wrote: »
    But they are adjectives from a noun, rather than this unusual adverb from the verb.

    I assume you meant "adjective from the verb".

    Wroughten is also a word, although not one that I think enjoys current use. There are probably some other similar archaic uses.

    Bespoken follows the same pattern, no?

    No, I meant adjectives "wooden" from the noun "wood" and "oaken" from the noun "oak".

    I've not heard "wroughten" used and can't remember seeing it written either. "Wrought" is used in the combination of "wrought iron", but not commonly otherwise. You're right with "bespoken" but neither it or "bespoke" is a word you'd hear frequently.

  • BroJamesBroJames Purgatory Host, 8th Day Host
    In terms of adjectives from verbs, I suppose ‘begotten’ could be added to ‘boughten’.
  • EnochEnoch Shipmate
    The point that underlies this is that 'buy' is already an irregular verb with an irregular past tense and past participle 'bought'. They're the same but that's not that unusual. There are several other examples in English grammar. What's slightly unusual, though not unique, is that a dialect should have added an extra irregular form, rather than a regular one.

  • Penny SPenny S Shipmate
    There was a discussion on "word of mouth" with Michael Rosen https://www.bbc.co.uk/sounds/play/m000xs03 with an academic from Chicago, looking at the irregularities of English. Apparently it is the most common words which have the most irregularities carried forward from the past.
  • Enoch wrote: »
    The point that underlies this is that 'buy' is already an irregular verb with an irregular past tense and past participle 'bought'. They're the same but that's not that unusual. There are several other examples in English grammar. What's slightly unusual, though not unique, is that a dialect should have added an extra irregular form, rather than a regular one.

    Yes, this struck me. It reminds me of children who can double up with past endings, e.g., "wented", as well as obviously "goed". But don't really know this dialect.
  • Those adjectives from nouns - wooden, oaken etc - are specific to materials. Woollen, golden and the more archaic or poetic silken, brazen (from brass), leaden, silvern. I only know this because it is the same in Dutch, and when you learn a foreign language you often find out things about your own language.
  • orfeoorfeo Shipmate
    edited July 20
    Penny S wrote: »
    There was a discussion on "word of mouth" with Michael Rosen https://www.bbc.co.uk/sounds/play/m000xs03 with an academic from Chicago, looking at the irregularities of English. Apparently it is the most common words which have the most irregularities carried forward from the past.

    Yes, common well-established words tend to retain older forms. They were so common that old usages stuck.

    A good example is how we form plurals. For a long time English has regarded adding an "s" or perhaps "es" to be the way to mark a plural. But then you have things like man/men, child/children and ox/oxen that reflect an older grammar.
  • Gramps49Gramps49 Shipmate
    There was only one time one of our children walked out onto a busy street. He has about three. I was at home with him at the time. I was in the process of changing out our storm window from the glass covering to the screen covering. Son was right beside me. I remember sensing he was not beside me anymore and started to look around for him. About that time, I heard honking at the street corner and started to walk over there. When I got there an adult was holding my son's hand. He had attempted to walk across the street. He stated he was walking to get his mommy who worked just a couple of blocks from our house. (We had walked down there several times before so he knew the way.) I did not swat him. There was no need. As I recall we simply sat down with him and explained that he was not to leave our yard without having mommy or daddy with him. We never had the problem again I think he was so frightened by the experience he had learned his own lesson.

    Even with good supervision, kids can disappear. Fortunately, nothing serious happened.
  • Gee D wrote: »
    No, I meant adjectives "wooden" from the noun "wood" and "oaken" from the noun "oak".

    It was the "adverb" in your sentence that I was quibbling with ;)
    orfeo wrote: »
    A good example is how we form plurals. For a long time English has regarded adding an "s" or perhaps "es" to be the way to mark a plural. But then you have things like man/men, child/children and ox/oxen that reflect an older grammar.

    Things like shoon and hosen are no longer current. Brethren is, but is no longer used as the general plural of "brother", except perhaps by my daughter when she thinks she's being funny.
  • SparrowSparrow Shipmate
    [quote="Leorning Cniht;c-438320"

    Things like shoon and hosen are no longer current. Brethren is, but is no longer used as the general plural of "brother", except perhaps by my daughter when she thinks she's being funny. [/quote]

    And I have heard feminists use the invented "sistren"
  • Gramps49 wrote: »
    There was only one time one of our children walked out onto a busy street. He has about three. I was at home with him at the time. I was in the process of changing out our storm window from the glass covering to the screen covering. Son was right beside me. I remember sensing he was not beside me anymore and started to look around for him. About that time, I heard honking at the street corner and started to walk over there. When I got there an adult was holding my son's hand. He had attempted to walk across the street. He stated he was walking to get his mommy who worked just a couple of blocks from our house. (We had walked down there several times before so he knew the way.) I did not swat him. There was no need. As I recall we simply sat down with him and explained that he was not to leave our yard without having mommy or daddy with him. We never had the problem again I think he was so frightened by the experience he had learned his own lesson.

    Even with good supervision, kids can disappear. Fortunately, nothing serious happened.

    It's another topic, but the car danger has made it such that children don't play in front of houses and in the street as they did when I was young. In terms of "stranger danger", yes, there's always someone and some terrible occurrences. As a child we went everywhere, unsupervised. I learned to take the bus independently at age 7 so I could go to the YMCA in Saturdays. I usually went, but sometimes we did other things and didn't get there. We played outside everyday: "come home when the street lights switch on". With our kids, we were very much promoting of outdoor (supposedly) dangerous play like climbing trees and throwing things, learning to use an axe, light fires, saw and drill, etc.
  • Those adjectives from nouns - wooden, oaken etc - are specific to materials. Woollen, golden and the more archaic or poetic silken, brazen (from brass), leaden, silvern. I only know this because it is the same in Dutch, and when you learn a foreign language you often find out things about your own language.

    This is really helpful.
  • Gee DGee D Shipmate

    It was the "adverb" in your sentence that I was quibbling with

    Right, understood.

    [Things like shoon and hosen are no longer current. Brethren is, but is no longer used as the general plural of "brother", except perhaps by my daughter when she thinks she's being funny. [/quote]

    Slowly, silently now the moon
    Walks the night in her silver shoon

    Not exactly poetry, although taught as that, but rather verse.
  • FirenzeFirenze Shipmate, Host Emeritus
    If hosen and shoon thou ne'er gavest nane
    The whinnies shall prick thee to the bare bane.
    Fire and fleet and candlelicht
    And Christ receive thy saule


    Never set out to be poetry, but works for me (particularly in the setting by Britten).
  • mousethiefmousethief Shipmate
    I read long ago (source long lost) that the "en" on words like woolen, wooden, flaxen, golden, etc., was a genitive ending, which long ago stopped being productive, so the words passed into adjectives and so remain.
  • KarlLBKarlLB Shipmate
    mousethief wrote: »
    I read long ago (source long lost) that the "en" on words like woolen, wooden, flaxen, golden, etc., was a genitive ending, which long ago stopped being productive, so the words passed into adjectives and so remain.

    Nothing's impossible, but only one relatively small class of OE nouns have -n in the Genitive; by far the largest class had -es (giving modern English 's).

    From what I can gather, -en is a Germanic suffix implying "made from" rather than an inflexion.
  • KarlLBKarlLB Shipmate
    An interesting edge case is "olden" - as in "olden days". It is the same suffix (I checked, there is another -en used to form verbs but this is the "made from" -en) but it's not literally a material.
  • cgichardcgichard Shipmate
    Swollen? Molten?
  • given, riven, driven
  • Past participles of verbs mostly. Or older forms thereof.
  • KarlLBKarlLB Shipmate
    edited July 21
    Past participles of verbs mostly. Or older forms thereof.

    Yup. All of them actually.
  • Drunken, ashen, golden, are they participles?
  • KarlLBKarlLB Shipmate
    Drunken, ashen, golden, are they participles?

    Drunken is. Ashen - made of ash (if figuratively), golden - made of gold.

    When I said "they all are" I meant all the examples given in the two posts previous to @Jonah the Whale 's
  • DafydDafyd Shipmate
    edited July 25
    Firenze wrote: »
    If hosen and shoon thou ne'er gavest nane
    The whinnies shall prick thee to the bare bane.
    Never set out to be poetry, but works for me (particularly in the setting by Britten).
    Included in many respectable anthologies of poetry in English. (Oxford Book of English Verse for one.)
  • AmosAmos Shipmate
    edited July 26
    My husband used 'boughten' as a child in Worcestershire. His cousins used to tease him about the time he announced 'Mommy, I don't like Aunt Gertie's cake. It's boughten.' (Note: in Birmingham and the northern part of Worcestershire, it's always 'Mommy,' not 'Mummy'). He wasn't alone: the old folks in his village would say that they'd never have 'boughten bacon' in the house.
  • AmosAmos Shipmate
    edited July 26
    Apologies for double post: 'Children' is a double plural, since 'childer' is plural of 'child'. I've known people (elderly, and in the north of England) who said 'childer.' 'Sistren' was common in the middle ages, died out, and was revived.
  • Penny SPenny S Shipmate
    Why don't we have one of these words for collectively referring to nephews and nieces?
  • TrudyTrudy Heaven Host, 8th Day Host
    I don't think there's any traditional word for collective nephews and nieces but I know a lot of people are starting to use the word "niblings" for that purpose. No idea where it came from, though it's obviously related to "siblings." I've heard folks use it both for the singular child of a sibling who is non-binary and thus doesn't fit easily into the "niece" or "nephew" category ("I gave my nibling Dale a Lego set for their birthday") and as a plural for a mixed group of nephews and nieces ("I love when my brother brings the niblings over for the afternoon but I'm always exhausted by the time they leave"). It seems like a useful neologism as it fills a gap we haven't had a word for.
  • Penny SPenny S Shipmate
    Good idea.
  • EnochEnoch Shipmate
    Amos wrote: »
    Apologies for double post: 'Children' is a double plural, since 'childer' is plural of 'child'. I've known people (elderly, and in the north of England) who said 'childer.' 'Sistren' was common in the middle ages, died out, and was revived.
    I'm not sure that's correct. I think 'children' and 'childer' are both irregular plurals but one has become standard English and the other is only found in dialects.

  • 'Niblings' are small characters in Tove Jansson's Moomin books. They are not always well behaved, so the word might fit quite well.
  • FirenzeFirenze Shipmate, Host Emeritus
    Enoch wrote: »
    Amos wrote: »
    Apologies for double post: 'Children' is a double plural, since 'childer' is plural of 'child'. I've known people (elderly, and in the north of England) who said 'childer.' 'Sistren' was common in the middle ages, died out, and was revived.
    I'm not sure that's correct. I think 'children' and 'childer' are both irregular plurals but one has become standard English and the other is only found in dialects.

    And, if memory serves me, in Cranmer's BCP - 'our children's childer'. And cognate with 'kinder' as in kindergarten.
  • TrudyTrudy Heaven Host, 8th Day Host
    'Niblings' are small characters in Tove Jansson's Moomin books. They are not always well behaved, so the word might fit quite well.

    Oh, that's probably the genesis of the term, then!
  • LydaLyda Shipmate
    Trudy wrote: »
    'Niblings' are small characters in Tove Jansson's Moomin books. They are not always well behaved, so the word might fit quite well.

    Oh, that's probably the genesis of the term, then!

    When I googled it, Merriam Webster said the word appeared sometime in the fifties and has become more popular recently. However that dictionary hasn't added it to their lexicon but is "watching it". Their essay on nibling says it's popularly ascribed to Yale professor Samuel Martin, but they didn't have a primary source on it.
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