Friends of Semantic Compositions

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December 27, 2004



Off the top of my head, we've got walkers, runners, and (cross-)trainers (all types of shoes, plus the additional use of 'walker' for motion assistance device).

Semantic Compositions

Now that you've got me focused on clothing, I suddenly find myself wondering: who's doing the sweating in a sweater? I guess this usage goes back a lot longer than I would've guessed.


The -er suffix on items of food seems to have the same meaning as the -able suffix, with the additional meaning that "not only *can* you do X with it, that's what you're *supposed* to do with it" (kind of like the Latin gerundive suffix). I noticed this in a grocery store which had a bin labeled "Idaho bakers." But there were no bakers from Idaho standing around in there; just potatoes.


Oh, yeah, and fryer chickens, too!

Semantic Compositions

Neal: I think your analysis is right in all but one case. I agree about "Idaho baker", and "fryer chicken", and it explains "cross-trainer" and "walker" pretty well, too. But I'm not sure it really works for the "griller sausage", since you're not actually supposed to grill it yourself.

Maybe they should've called it the "eater sausage" instead!

home security

It has become a part of our daily lives. And yes, i like it.

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