Friday, August 7, 2009

Broomy and Broomstickey

This is plain diminuitive usage here as practiced by one of my older sisters in conversation last night. She was perusing a display of brooms in a store.

My sister: "This one's broomy." Then: "It's broomstickey."

Broomstickey look-sounds correct with the -ey because . . . because this would put it on the same train with Dunwoody, persnickety, and "Chitty Chitty Bang Bang." It's nothing like bizarrery but the same system of logic obtains.

When my sister said the broom was broomy what I heard was that it approximated her idea of what a broom is and should be. Reading her comment, however, lands me at a different conclusion.

Reading her comment, I think, "Oh, she sounds as if she was talking about the plant," videlicet: 1679 PLOT Staffordsh. (1686) 110 This heathy, broomy, gorsy, barren sort of Soile [OED] She sounds as if she meant that the broom was bushy.

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