Besides writing the monthly Language Lounge column, distinguished lexicographer Orin Hargraves creates our unique "themed" Words of the Day. Subscriber Marije Martijn recently sent us this comment on the word "Stipple," which ran on July 24th:
I just had to be my pedantic self and comment on the word of the day: if you want to thank someone for the root "stip" of your verb 'to stipple', you should thank the Dutch. I admit, there is also a German word "Stipp," but "stip" is a Dutch word. There is even a Dutch verb, "stippelen," i.e. "to dot." I don't know of a German verb like that. But then, I am no German, so there may very well be such a verb. Best wishes, Marije
Dear Marije: Thanks for your comment on "stipple," and no need to apologize for being pedantic! It's often considered a virtue around here. You're right: Dutch should have gotten the credit for "stipple." It does, in fact, in many dictionaries, just not the one I looked at when I wrote it up. I'm a big fan of Dutch's contributions to English, especially maelstrom, freebooter, and wiseacre! And we certainly couldn't do without caboose!
Orin Hargraves is an independent lexicographer and contributor to numerous dictionaries published in the US, the UK, and Europe. He is also the author of Mighty Fine Words and Smashing Expressions (Oxford), the definitive guide to British and American differences, and Slang Rules! (Merriam-Webster), a practical guide for English learners. In addition to writing the Language Lounge column, Orin also writes for the Macmillan Dictionary Blog. Click here to visit his website.Click here to read other articles by Orin Hargraves
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