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#1 2008-08-15 13:44:38

buzhwa
Member
From: southeast Michigan, USA
Registered: 2007-01-05
Posts: 20

"looksie" for look-see

look-see >> looksie

I’ve seen e-mails and chats where people say they’ll have a “looksie” at something instead of a look-see. I guess they think they’re having a “little look” at something and sticking a diminutive suffix onto the word “look”?

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#2 2008-08-15 13:58:45

DavidTuggy
Eggcornista
From: Mexico
Registered: 2007-10-12
Posts: 1750
Website

Re: "looksie" for look-see

Cool! (112k rghits) e.g.

I just heard a criminal attorney say the word “looksie” on national TV. As in, “We should take a little looksie at that issue. ...
thankyoumaam.blogspot.com/2008/05/looksie.html

Reminds me of “treatsie” which is how more than one person pronounces “treatise”—a cute little paper treating some topic, I guess.


*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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#3 2008-08-15 15:14:54

nilep
Eggcornista
Registered: 2007-03-21
Posts: 291

Re: "looksie" for look-see

Often, eggcorns replace some relatively opaque element with a more common or transparent one (e.g. arrears >> the rears, migraine >> mind grain), but this is clearly not the case here. I would predict that the connection between look and see should be just as understandable as the diminutive -ie. Furthermore, use of the diminutive and use of the slang register that look-see belongs to have similar discourse effects. In this case, there’s no reason to prefer one variant over the other. And since the usage is primarily spoken, I guess it should be no surprise that both forms occur to hearers. Very nice find.

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#4 2008-08-15 15:40:26

DavidTuggy
Eggcornista
From: Mexico
Registered: 2007-10-12
Posts: 1750
Website

Re: "looksie" for look-see

Although the morphemes involved are very common ones, the construction look-see is an odd one. You wouldn’t say you were going to take a listen-hear or a touch-feel or a sniff-smell. So the constructional opacity here takes the functional place of the lexical opacity of the other cases you cite, Chad.

Or at least so it seems to me.

Last edited by DavidTuggy (2008-08-16 02:36:51)


*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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#5 2008-08-15 20:26:17

nilep
Eggcornista
Registered: 2007-03-21
Posts: 291

Re: "looksie" for look-see

DavidTuggy wrote:

Although the morphemes involved are very common ones, the construction look-see is an odd one. You wouldn’t say you were going to take a listen-hear or a touch-feel. So the constructional opacity here takes the functional place of the lexical opacity of the other cases you cite, Chad.

Yes, you’re right, the construction look-see is odd, and far from transparent to one who isn’t already familiar with it.

On the other hand, you don’t get diminutives with sense words any more than you get this odd sort of semantic reduplication. You wouldn’t take a listensie nor a hearsie any more than you’d take a listen-hear. In addition, a smelly (meaning “a smelly object, especially a diaper”) and the adjective touchy each mean something quite different, as does touchy-feely.

So my ”[not] relatively opaque” observation may have to be revised. But I think I’ll stand by the conjecture that “there’s no reason to prefer one variant over the other.”

At least for now.

-Chad

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#6 2013-02-18 20:11:07

DavidTuggy
Eggcornista
From: Mexico
Registered: 2007-10-12
Posts: 1750
Website

Re: "looksie" for look-see

nilep wrote:

You wouldn’t take a listensie nor a hearsie any more than you’d take a listen-hear. In addition, a smelly (meaning “a smelly object, especially a diaper”) and the adjective touchy each mean something quite different, as does touchy-feely.

Well, at least not until the heresy < hearsay thread got cranked up!


*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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