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OED threads

Dear Nash,

As a highly educated Oxonian of obviously esteemable pedigree and moral upbringing, did you know that PIPIT was a word in the Oxford English Dictionary? I was surprised to find it there yesterday, when I was looking up PIPE DREAM. I wanted to know whether PIPE DREAM was the right phrase for certain ambitions I've been toying with lately. It wasn't what I was looking for, because apparently pipe dreams are 'unattainable'. However, I fervently believe that I will one day hold influence over the affairs of the world, or the gullible minds of the youth, and have my work read and loved by millions of people. No, not the dissertation. That'd put any insomniac to sleep within the first few pages. I can't divulge any of my plans just yet.

Now go on, tell me what you think PIPIT means! No looking in the Bodleian's OED. (Hey does the Bodleian have one massive dictionary lying around for readers to refer to as needed? How big is it?)

I left the OED lying open beside me so as soon as I got distracted from my work (it doesn't take much) I let my eyes wander across the page and they happened to rest upon PIROPLASMOSIS, defined as another term for BABESIOSIS. Ooh, what on earth is that? Off I traipsed to letter B, and to my disappointment, BABESIOSIS has nothing to do with talking pigs, babies, and/or sexually transmitted diseases. It is merely 'a disease of cattle and other livestock, transmitted by the bite of ticks. It affects the red blood cells and causes the passing of red or blackish urine.'

Ho-hum. Well since I was in B, I decided to look up BRAT since I use the word to refer to myself quite often but never actually looked it up. Just as I thought, it suits me perfectly, 'a child, typically a badly behaved one.' Whatsmore, its likely origin is Old Scottish BRATCHET, which is from the Old French BRACHET meaning hound or bitch. Very apropos, ano?

So has the OED changed the way you think of PIPIT? In my case, it has.

ta-tah for now,


The Nashman said…
I know pipit used in Kankanaey as in "Sumayet nan balasang ay pap-paila nan pipit na"

The OED is entirely online and a friend who is part of the word team says they are now into looking at new words for "K"...they work at a slow get your contributions ready........


Brit. /{sm}p{shti}p{shti}t/, U.S. /{sm}p{shti}p{shtibar}t/ Forms: 17 pippet, 17 pippit, 18 pipet, 18- pipit. [Prob. imitative (cf. quot. 1885). Cf. French pipit (1764; 1683 as pipi, denoting an Ethiopian bird). Cf. PIP v.2, and other regional names for this bird, as PEEP n.1 2c, CHEEPER n., tietick, etc.]

Any of several typically ground-dwelling songbirds with brown-streaked plumage, of the cosmopolitan genus Anthus or related genera (family Motacillidae).
meadow, rock, sky, water-pipit: see the first element. See also RICHARD'S PIPIT n.

1745 1894
1832 1994
_1100_ _1200_ _1300_ _1400_ _1500_ _1600_ _1700_ _1800_ _1900_ _2000_ _2100_


1745 J. PIERCY Nat. Hist. Irish Song Birds 47 They are not in Colour much unlike the Pippet, which we wrongfully in Ireland call a Tit Lark. 1750 C. SMITH Antient & Present State County Cork II. IV. vi. 333 Another species called the Pippit or Alauda minor, whose legs are yellow, and a smaller kind of lark, is a constant attendant to the cuckow. 1768 T. PENNANT Brit. Zool. II. II. 241 A species [of lark] taken in the neighborhood of London, called by the bird catchers a pippit. 1832 Hist. Berwickshire Naturalists' Club 1 No. 1. 18 The rock or shore pipit (Anthus aquaticus)... In size it exceeds..the common and the tree pipet (A. pratensis and arboreus). 1885 C. SWAINSON Provinc. Names Brit. Birds 45 Called Pipit from its short and feeble note. 1894 A. NEWTON Dict. Birds s.v., Pipits, of which over 30 species have been described..occur in almost all parts of the world. 1944 A. RUSSELL Bush Ways xiv. 69 The restless little ground lark, or pipit, is often an associate of the song larks. 1966 E. PALMER Plains of Camdeboo xii. 211 Many of the small veld birds are undistinguished in appearance, such as the familiar chat and the pipits. 1994 Economist 19 Nov. 41/3 Excited birdwatchers rushed to Landguard Point in Suffolk to catch the third sighting this century of Blyth's pipit.
padma said…
Ah, I knew you wouldn't disappoint! Thank you for the multilingual, very detailed definition, and thank you for the solid confirmation of my vague idea that I sort of knew pipit had another meaning that I had learned before I came across it in the OED. I thoroughly enjoyed reading the OED examples of usage, and substituting their definition for the Kankanaey one. Haha! Some people here who speak fluent English wonder why I smirk when they use pipit in reference to a bird.

Why not send in Kankanaey for K?
padma said…
At buti ka pa, you have access to the online OED. Ako, I just have my pipitsugin New Oxford Dictionary of English of 1998, thumbed edition. So thanks again for sharing the entry above.

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