retronym

Pronounced: REH-troh-nim, noun

Notes: This is a fairly modern word to describe a relatively modern situation


Yesterday’s word

The word rummy means, as a noun, “any of various card games in which the objective is to make sets or sequences of three or more cards”. As an adjective, it can mean

  • a drunkard
  • odd or unconventional
Background / Comments

The first adjective definition (drunkard) comes from ‘rum’. I think this word may be used in “It’s a Wonderful Life”; I also think I’ve run across it in a book somewhere. I also knew the noun (the card name). Its origin is unknown. The last adjective meaning (odd) is the one I didn’t remember, but as I write this, I seem to recall reading the phrase “a rum go” (an odd situation). The origin of this usage is also unknown.

First usage

The noun origin was seen in the early 1900s; the adjectives came into English in the mid-1800s, with the second one earlier than the first.

Published by Richard

Christian, lover-of-knowledge, Texan, and other things.

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