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« Theodore Dalrymple does complexity | Main | You don't have to be so schneid about it »

January 24, 2007



Thank you so much for explaining this. It was but a few days later that I was lookup up "-aholic" in the OED (OK, no I wasn't, I was casually reading the OED and came across it), and part of the definition reads:

"...used as a suffix forming ns., as computerholic, newsaholic, spendaholic, etc., (chiefly humorous nonce-words)..."

Before reading your post, I would have stared helplessly, said, "Those aren't nonsense!", and never even thought to look up "nonce-words". But instead I came to the dictionary sufficiently informed. So, yeah, thanks. :-)


A 'nonce' in the UK has another meaning. If you were in a jail in England, specifically for molesting a child, you would be referred to, by other inmates, as a nonce.
In Scottish jails you would be a 'beast'.
For the life of me, I can't find the origin for the term nonce being used in this instance.


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