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Chris -- 2018-04-11

#1 2018-09-26 04:31:44

DavidTuggy
Eggcornista
From: Mexico
Registered: 2007-10-11
Posts: 2185
Website

outrage < out + rage

I was thinking, half asleep this morning, and the Spanish word ultraje (‘insult, atrocity’, things like that) flitted through my mind. It suddenly struck me that English outrage must be cognate with it. That is, originally it was more like outré + age than out + rage . I was pretty sure most English speakers assumed the latter, and entirely sure I had.
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Sure enough, according to this site , it is from

Middle English (in the senses ‘lack of moderation’ and ‘violent behavior’): from Old French ou(l)trage, based on Latin ultra ‘beyond.’ Sense development has been affected by the belief that the word is a compound of out and rage.

Of course, that “belief” is anything but unrelated to the appropriateness of the meanings of out and rage : an outrage is the kind of behavior that (by being out of bounds) makes a decent person rage inside if not actually rage out at the action or at its perpetrator. ( Out is doubtless cognate with ultra but much further back down the Indo-European tree.)
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In other words, we have a very successful eggcorn, which fits the definition of a successful folk etymology. I’m not sure I had, or had not, ever tumbled to this realization before, but it doesn’t seem to have been discussed here on the site.

Last edited by DavidTuggy (2018-09-26 11:39:28)


*If the human mind were simple enough for us to understand,
we would be too simple-minded to understand it* .

(Possible Corollary: it is, and we are .)

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#2 2018-09-26 20:28:48

yanogator
Eggcornista
From: Ohio
Registered: 2007-06-07
Posts: 184

Re: outrage < out + rage

Yes, David, the “age” is just a suffix. Here is the simple etymology of the word:
https://www.etymonline.com/word/outrage

Bruce


“I always wanted to be somebody. I should have been more specific.” – Lily Tomlin

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#3 2018-09-27 17:28:28

DavidTuggy
Eggcornista
From: Mexico
Registered: 2007-10-11
Posts: 2185
Website

Re: outrage < out + rage

That site doesn’t discuss the suffix, that I see. But I agree, it is (or was) the same suffix as in mileage , even though it is pronounced with a strong stress (for some the main stress of the word). It might have been out(re)ness , I suppose.
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It strikes me that when I say I was outraged I never mean “I was insulted,” but rather “I was very angry.” Is that true for any of the rest of you?


*If the human mind were simple enough for us to understand,
we would be too simple-minded to understand it* .

(Possible Corollary: it is, and we are .)

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#4 2018-09-28 03:33:40

Dixon Wragg
Eggcornista
From: Cotati, California
Registered: 2008-07-04
Posts: 1313

Re: outrage < out + rage

DavidTuggy wrote:

It strikes me that when I say I was outraged I never mean “I was insulted,” but rather “I was very angry.” Is that true for any of the rest of you?

And earlier, he had written:

...the Spanish word ultraje (‘insult, atrocity’, things like that)...

FWIW, I’d agree that the current common interpretation of “I was outraged” has little or nothing to do with having been insulted, and lots to do with the emotional distress of encountering something deemed an atrocity, whether or not it involves an insult to the person who is outraged. ”(O)utraged” in that context could be understood as an adjective denoting that state of mind, or as a transitive verb (Merriam-Webster: “to violate the standards or principles of” or “to arouse anger or resentment in usually by some grave offense”)—or both at the same time.

Last edited by Dixon Wragg (2018-09-28 03:34:49)

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#5 2018-09-29 11:25:40

kem
Eggcornista
From: Victoria, BC
Registered: 2007-08-28
Posts: 2632

Re: outrage < out + rage

A classical example of a stealth-eggcorn. No sound or spelling change marks its passage into misinterpretation as “out” plus “rage.”


Hatching new language, one eggcorn at a time.

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#6 2018-09-30 06:33:11

DavidTuggy
Eggcornista
From: Mexico
Registered: 2007-10-11
Posts: 2185
Website

Re: outrage < out + rage

Doesn’t the stress-shift count as a sound change? And there are a couple of other shifts that depend on it, in the tr cluster or non-cluster sequence, and in the second-syllable vowel. I mean, we don’t say [‘awtrǝj] but rather [‘awt’reʸj] or even [‘awʔ’reʸj]. Granted, this is centuries (or at least decades) after the meaning shift, and the (resulting) sound shifts may have taken place after the eggcorn was formed.

Last edited by DavidTuggy (2018-09-30 09:08:52)


*If the human mind were simple enough for us to understand,
we would be too simple-minded to understand it* .

(Possible Corollary: it is, and we are .)

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#7 2018-10-02 14:40:24

David Bird
Eggcornista
From: Montréal, QC
Registered: 2009-07-28
Posts: 1576

Re: outrage < out + rage

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#8 2018-10-02 14:45:31

DavidTuggy
Eggcornista
From: Mexico
Registered: 2007-10-11
Posts: 2185
Website

Re: outrage < out + rage

So how come searching for “outrage” and “out rage” didn’t find it? Aargh.


*If the human mind were simple enough for us to understand,
we would be too simple-minded to understand it* .

(Possible Corollary: it is, and we are .)

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