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Chris -- 2018-04-11
From today’s Merriam-Webster word for the day:
“Abstemious” and “abstain” look alike, and both have meanings involving self-restraint or self-denial. So they must both come from the same root, right? Yes and no. Both get their start from the Latin prefix “abs-,” meaning “from” or “away,” but “abstain” traces to “abs-” plus the Latin verb “tenere” (meaning “to hold”), while “abstemious” gets its ”-temious” from a suffix akin to the Latin noun “temetum,” meaning “intoxicating drink.”
They not only look alike. They are related as acorn and eggcorn. See examples below. Web frequency: low.
Post to an alcoholism forum: “I know somebody else who has communication disorder and was an alcoholic he became abstainious and found other interests he has not drunk any alcohol for 12 years now.”
From a Glaswegian bulletin board: “i dont get straightedge. if i wanted to be purposefully abstainious just so i could go to clubs and rub people’s guilty faces in it, I’d at least have the decency to use the adjective ‘christian’.”
From a blog about wine: “It’s been a while since my last entry but that does not mean I have been abstaineous. I should be writing about the London Wine Fair but to be honest I don’t think I can add much that has not already been written elsewhere.”
A dentist’s blog: “At the peak of their sexual drive they are taught that while they are abstaineous now they will be rewarded with excesses of pleasure if they fight and die for the cause”
Hatching new language, one eggcorn at a time.