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Did the headline peakyour interest? Or go itpique it? I\"m waiting v baited breath for your answer. Or would that bebated?

The correct answers space pique and also bate, however if you made decision peak or bait, don\"t feel bad. Sure, few of us may understand pique native the phrase \"a right of pique,\" whereby it method \"annoyance at no being cure properly,\" but \"pique my interest\" is progressively rendered nowadays as \"peak mine interest\" because pique is a indigenous most civilization don\"t know.

You are watching: Frozen in time meaning

All the us have actually a propensity to replace fossilized words whose nuances have been lost witha more standard meaning of that word, or a various word entirely. With this process, phrases, like words, have the right to change meaning over time. Thus, the bated in \"bated breath\" (which is a shortened variation of abate, meaning \"to lessen\") start out mistakenly being analyzed as the much more common word v that sound, \"baited breath,\" also if the known definitions ofbaited don\"t specifically relate come breath.

Helping this phrasal change along is the truth that these frozen phrases are frequently heard and not read, or read in one unfamiliar context, which deserve to lead to confusion about what they mean, an especially when lock contain words just encountered in in this one way. One of the meanings of exact, currently all yet obsolete, is \"to demand and obtain something.\" This is the an interpretation that exact has actually in the expression \"exact revenge,\" but since this meaning of the verb has little life elevation of this phrase, one deserve to see the expression rendered together \"extract\" or even \"enact revenge.\"

Once upon a time, as soon as you were giving someone control, not being too strict, friend were said to be giving them \"freerein,\" together if you to be letting the reins that regulate a steed go slack. The farther we gain from horses and also buggies, the an ext obscure this analogy becomes. It is not inexplicable these job to watch this expression order \"free reign,\" together though the human being in question is the king of their own tiny kingdom. Back this might be viewed as simply a order mistake that is coming to be increasingly familiar, the actually changes the phrase, coming to be what part linguists contact an eggcorn. Having actually \"free rein\" suggests a dependable horse. \"Free reign\" suggests a an ext despotic situation.

In part cases, an obscure word stays in place in a phrase, yet its meaning changes. The phrase \"begging the question\" is tho used, however it most frequently now advert to when a case forces a inquiry to it is in addressed: The question is begging to it is in asked. But when this phrase originated together a mistranslation the a Greek expression, \"to beg the question\" meant to connect in circular reasoning, presume the answer come the question prior to answering it honestly — in various other words to make a beggar that the question, to render the suggest moot. This feeling of the expression employs a figurative use of the verb form of beggar, which originally came right into English in the 1400s, but has because largely fallen out of use.

(Moot is actually one more interesting instance of an interpretation shift. As offered above, moot the adjective method \"not worth considering,\" and also it is used when miscellaneous is rendered inconsequential by circumstances. The verb kind of moot, however, way \"to debate, talk, discuss,\" and also there isn\"t the feeling of a \"lack the importance\" together in the adjectival case.)

The prodigal in the biblical parable the the prodigal kid (Luke 15:11 – 32) refers to a son\"s wasteful safety of the inheritance he derived from his father. This meaning of prodigal as \"wasteful\" is maintained in the connected wordprodigious, which deserve to mean anything above and past normal limits. Prodigal, but — and often the phrase \"prodigal son\" — have concerned refer come the end of the tale, as soon as the kid returns to his family, v prodigal being widely accepted as\"one that returns after a long time away.\" What\"s interesting around prodigal\"s current definition is that it filling a space in English — prior to prodigal, over there wasn\"t a yes, really a native in renowned use. Phrases choose \"black lamb of the family\" or \"formerly estranged\" don\"t really record the situation, and certainly no as concisely.

So at best, phrasal adjust can enrich ours language. And at worst, it provides us the ability to recreate from fossilized proof the story of just how our language (and culture) has adjusted over time. Fascinating, unless of food our interest in that type of thing has currently peaked.

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Adam Cooper studied grammars at Brandeis University and also The college of Chicago. Since 2010, he has actually been working with The intimidated Language Alliance in new York City top top documentation and preservation projects.