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Adjectives distant from their nouns - Input Junkie
November 8th, 2009
05:37 am

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Adjectives distant from their nouns
gubernatorial governor
Athens Attic
(George Bernard) Shaw Shavian
uncle avuncular


Any others?

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From:asakiyume
Date:November 8th, 2009 10:54 am (UTC)
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Cantabrigian is somewhat distant from Cambridge.
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From:crystalpyramid
Date:November 8th, 2009 01:16 pm (UTC)
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poor / poverty
Muscovite/Muscovian/Moscovian / Moscow

There's a whole family of Latin family adjectives that go with avuncular, although some of the nouns also have English-sounding adjectives (e.g. motherly, brotherly). I guess uncle-ly and son-ly don't work, though.

mother / maternal
father / paternal
sister / sororal
brother / fraternal
son/daughter / filial

Continuing in the Latin vein, there's also

Jupiter / Jovian
moon / lunar
cat / feline
dog / canine
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From:asakiyume
Date:November 8th, 2009 02:55 pm (UTC)
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Ooh! And thinking of those family ones: how about wife/uxorial?
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From:ginamariewade
Date:November 8th, 2009 01:35 pm (UTC)
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Continuing with the Latin, there's
cow/bovine
sheep/ovine
horse/equine
pig/porcine
snake/herpetol or something like that.
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From:nancylebov
Date:November 8th, 2009 02:33 pm (UTC)
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Colubrine for the snake.
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From:ginamariewade
Date:November 9th, 2009 02:37 am (UTC)
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Thank you. I didn't know that word.
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From:katsaris
Date:November 8th, 2009 02:29 pm (UTC)
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justice / judicial

"Attic" is a reference to Attica, the region in which Athens is located... same as "laconic" is a reference to Laconia, the region in which Sparta is located.

In which case, does "Los Angeles / Californian" work? :-)


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From:bugsybanana
Date:November 8th, 2009 06:16 pm (UTC)
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Well, it's Angeleno, really.
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From:redbird
Date:November 8th, 2009 03:46 pm (UTC)
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Naples Neapolitan
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From:womzilla
Date:November 11th, 2009 04:07 am (UTC)
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Constantinople/Byzantine. :-)
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From:madfilkentist
Date:November 8th, 2009 04:30 pm (UTC)
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"Cytherean" is the scientifically preferred adjective for the planet Venus.
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From:siderea
Date:November 8th, 2009 05:46 pm (UTC)
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...because "Venereal" is right out. :)
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From:bugsybanana
Date:November 8th, 2009 06:23 pm (UTC)
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"Gubernatorial" and "avuncular" are adjectives derived directly from the Latin root words that became "governor" and "uncle" after being distorted through medieval French. I think you'll find a lot of these word pairs have the same relationship. Either that one or the Anglo-Saxon/French one that the livestock/meat words ginamariewade alludes to possess.

I wish we made kids read a good book on the languages of the world in school, so this all would be clearer for them. Mario Pei's old The Story of Language is old-fashioned in its prose and probably its scholarship as well, but I don't know of a better modern book for the general public.
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From:madfilkentist
Date:November 8th, 2009 06:31 pm (UTC)
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I love The Story of Language.
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From:womzilla
Date:November 11th, 2009 04:12 am (UTC)
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The one I came up with is lens/lenticular, which is also straight from the Latin. ("Lentis" is the genitive of "lens"; it was only recently that I realized that lenses, as in eyes, eyeglasses, and spyglasses, are so-called because they are shaped like lentils.)
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From:beamjockey
Date:November 8th, 2009 07:30 pm (UTC)
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Straying into nouns, I've always been puzzled by such words as:

apogee-perigee (for orbits around Earth)
apoapsis-periapsis (the generic terms)
aphelion-perihelion (for solar orbits)
apastron-periastron (for orbits around a star)
apocynthion-pericynthion (for the Moon; but Heinlein used "aposelenion" in The Moon is a Harsh Mistress and NASA has more often used "apolune")

There should be a whole family of words corresponding to orbits around various classically-named planets, but they are scarcely used.
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From:richardthinks
Date:November 9th, 2009 12:19 pm (UTC)
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cross/cruciform? (or possible crucial, but I'm not sure about that one)
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From:pequeno_raposa
Date:December 3rd, 2015 12:05 pm (UTC)

well sorry for breaking in

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year - annual
ring - annular
night - nocturnal
city - urban
people - popular
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From:nancylebov
Date:December 3rd, 2015 05:42 pm (UTC)

Re: well sorry for breaking in

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No apology needed-- seeing this makes me glad I check my replies-to page.

If you don't mind, how did you find the post?
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From:pequeno_raposa
Date:December 3rd, 2015 05:49 pm (UTC)

Re: well sorry for breaking in

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I got interested in the phenomenon that many English nouns have Latin adjectives and googled for something like "canine feline Jovian lunar solar" to find more examples :)
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