Archive for the ‘Back formation’ Category

to pizza-make

December 26, 2017

Another chapter in the story of synthetic compounds and 2pbfVs, most recently treated (at some length) in my 12/23 posting “they kitchen-kissed again”. The new datum came to me from Mike Pope, who found it in a piece on the Ozy site, “The World’s Most Beloved Food is Under Serious Threat” by Silvia Marchetti on 9/28/16, where I’ve boldfaced the 2pbfV to pizza-make (in its PRS form):

Gamal, an Egyptian pizza chef in the Rome neighborhood of Ostia (link)

When you stop by for a quick lunch at a pizzeria in Rome, you expect to see Roman or Neapolitan chefs in front of brick ovens throwing pizzas in the air to give them that roundish shape. Today, though, the pizza makers you encounter are more likely to be Egyptian, Pakistani and Indian, who pizza-make with sublime artistry. In fact, according to Confcommercio, Italy’s food retail association, 2 out of 5 pizza makers in Italy are Egyptian or Moroccan.

But there are still aren’t enough hands to make dough into discs: The country that invented the world’s most heavenly flatbread, says Confcommercio, needs 6,000 pizza chefs.

Why pizza-make, and not make pizza? Both are possible; the second is stylistically unremarkable, while the first is notable; the first is a word (albeit a compound), while the second is a syntactic phrase; and they are truth-functionally equivalent, but the first implicates something beyond the semantic content that they share — that the making of pizza is framed as a distinctive, unitary activity, involving the pizza-maker directly and essentially. Anybody can make pizza, but it takes someone special  — an expert, a craftsman, a professional, someone like Chef Gamal — to pizza-make. (more…)

they kitchen-kissed again

December 23, 2017

A Xmas data-gift from Larry Horn, from a novel (Sylvia Brownrigg, Pages for You (2001)) about an affair between an undergraduate and her universty TA. The two excerpts Larry sent are, in his words,

separated by various (recoverable) activities, but the reader is expected to remember what had gone on between the lovers on pp. 93-94 [They kissed in the lit kitchen] when she gets to pp. 99-100 [They kitchen-kissed again].

So, in the latter: the verb to kitchen-kiss, either a 2pbfV (a 2-part back-formed V) based on the (well-attested) synthetic compound kitchen-kissing ‘kissing in the kitchen’ or a verbing of the (also well-attested) N + N compound kitchen-kiss ‘a kiss in the kitchen’. It turns out that kitchen-kissing and kitchen kisses are a (sociocultural) thing, which has attracted websites, Pinterest boards showing the activity, and the like — so it’s no surprise that there’s a one-word (compound) verb referring to the activity.


Ruthie verbs

December 5, 2017

The One Big Happy in today’s comics feed:


Ruthie’s taken the predicative idiom in cahoots (with) — Dad is in cahoots with Joe, Dad and Joe are in cahoots — and extracted from it (by back-formation) a noun cahoot, which she then verbs, to get an activity verb cahoot with rather than the stative be in cahoots with.


Environmentally responsible derivation

November 13, 2017

It starts with an ordinary noun source and an ordinary verb sustain and eventually works its way to the adverb sustainably as a modifier of a verb source, strikingly in the split infinitive construction to sustainably source, which Wilson Gray reported in an ADS-L posting on the 11th, citing a General Mills ad in which to sustainably source oats figures prominently.


Another prohibition on tipping

July 4, 2017

Yesterday’s posting on cow-tipping and related matters distinguished two verbs tip, played with in a cartoon by Daniel Beyer:

(1) give (someone) a sum of money as a way of rewarding them for their services

(3) overbalance or cause to overbalance so as to fall or turn over

and provided a joke sign prohibiting cow-tipping. There are of course also NO TIPPING signs, usually in restarants, prohibiting gratuities.

Now Benita Bendon Campbell reminds me of NO TIPPING signs in the UK that often baffle American visitors because they appear along roads, in places where gratuities would seem to be irrelevant. There are variants that show that a third verb tip is at issue here, one related to the

noun tip: British a place where trash is deposited; a dump. (NOAD2)


1 Bizarro, 2 Bizarro

May 25, 2017

Yesterday’s and today’s Bizarro strips:



(If you’re puzzled by the odd symbols in the cartoons — Dan Piraro says there are 3 in both strips — see this Page.)


On the boulevard of broken dreams with Kip Noll

March 26, 2017

(There will be plain-talking discussion of men’s bodies and sexual practices of several kinds, so this is not for kids or the sexually modest.)

The boulevard in question is Sepulveda Boulevard (my morning name for Friday), part of which is a piece of the Pacific Coast Highway, the locus of William Higgins’s 1981 gay porn flick of that name (PCH), starring Kip Noll. Meanwhile, what we know of Noll’s life involves a substantial career in all kinds of sex work, including a lot of work as a dance hall boy, that is, a male stripper for men, and almost surely work as an escort for men, that is, as a male prostitute or stud hustler — two occupations that fit senses of the label gigolo (originally the masculine version of a French term for ‘dance hall girl’, and then ‘prostitute’). Which brings us to “The Boulevard of Broken Dreams”, a song that refers to “gigolos and gigolettes” — male and female prostitutes — strolling on a Parisian boulevard. (This is in France, and in a pop culture fantasy, two places where hustlers and hookers are regularly construed as picturesque rather than socially dysfunctional; a similar example, the movie Gigolette, is to come below.)

These investigations wil eventually take us to picturesque locations in Spain (where the Sepulvedas come from) and also to “the dark, underground world of a New York City gigolo”, as presented in Michael Lucas’s penis-heavy gay porn flick Gigolos (2007). A long distance from the sunny surfer beaches of southern California, but Noll eventually danced his dick off (and probably sold it as well) on the mean streets of New York.


Lukas is back!

November 13, 2016

(Underwear and raunchy innuendo, with a jock harness bonus, and some language stuff, but, yes, men’s bodies, so not to everyone’s tastes.)

The latest Daily Jocks offering, with my caption:


Lukas and the Back Alley Boys
Return this week for a
Short engagement,
Featuring old favorites
— “Butt Up, Baby”, and
Fresh stuff
— “Pullin’ My Pants Down For You”,
Soon to be released on their
Ballsy new album
Silly Love Songs



May 7, 2016

The wonderful creation of Pierce in Zits:

binge-bingeing is the PRP form of a verb to binge-binge, which is an instance of one or the other of two different compound V constructions of the form to N + V, whose semantic and pragmatic differences are small enough to ignore here.


to shape-shift

January 23, 2016

Jonathan Lighter on ADS-L yesterday, under the heading “Re back-forming again”:

This past Monday’s Supergirl had someone explaining that Martian J’onn J’onnz had “shape-shifted” to get into Maxwell Lord’s technofortress.

Yes, this is an example of a 2pbfV (two-part back-formed verb), but not at all a remarkable one; to shape-shift was an early item in my inventory of 2pbfVs, and examples of the verb are very thick on the ground. But the subject is entertaining, so I’ll play with  it a bit.