Friday, 8 June 2012

Entry: talonesque (adj.)

In context: "The fingers being not only mucronate and talonesque but nonprehensile, which is what made Mario's knifework untenable at the table."

Definition: A neologism (though, is any -esque word really a neologism? Or, as below, a 'nonce word')

-esque (suffix):

Other:Forming adjs., represents French -esque, < Italian -esco:—medieval Latin -iscus in words adopted from Germanic; cf. Old High German -isc (modern German -isch):—Germanic -isko-: see -ish suffix1. Occurring in many words coming through French from Italian, as in arabesque, burlesque, Dantesque, grotesque, romanesque, where the suffix has the sense ‘resembling the style partaking of the characteristics of’. In Italian derivatives in -esco are formed ad libitum on names of artists, and French and English writers on art have imitated this practice. The words formed with this suffix on English ns. are chiefly nonce-words of a jocular character, as cigaresque. Other formations separately noticed include Audenesque, Bramantesque, Browningesque, Caravagg(i)esque, Carlylesque, Chaplinesque, Dantonesque, Dickensesque, Disneyesque, Macaulayesque, Turneresque.

SNOOT score: 1
Page: 314

Source: Oxford English Dictionary   

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