frit
Posted: 10 May 2013 11:26 PM   [ Ignore ]
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Rather than hijack the cunt thread, I’ve started this one after hearing “glid”.  Don’t know if anyone else here watched it, but there was a fascinating and very revealing TV documentary called “The Young Margaret” (Thatcher) which showed what the woman, warts and all, was like - not someone I’d particularly invite round for a natter.  (She couldn’t natter, by the sound of it).  Mrs T in Prime Minister’s Question Time once used the word “frit” which is dialectal midlands - not just Lincolnshire - for “frightened”.  Here‘s an OED blog on her linguistic influence.

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Posted: 11 May 2013 02:47 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1 ]
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This approach is also reflected in the verb handbag, meaning “to subject to a forthright verbal assault or to strident criticism”. Currently the first quotation in the OED for this is from a 1982 issue of the Economist, which reads “Treasury figures published last week show how good she has proved at handbagging the civil service”. The she in question? Margaret Thatcher. On-going OED research has uncovered an earlier example of the verb, from 1952 in a Canadian newspaper, used in a literal sense “to hit with a handbag”, and the updated entry will be published in due course. But the figurative sense begins with reference to Margaret Thatcher, and remains most commonly associated with her.

I had no idea. Wonderful. So many good gems in this article.

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Posted: 12 May 2013 10:31 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2 ]
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"Fright / frit” calls to mind “light / lit”, also “alight /alit”.

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Posted: 12 May 2013 10:44 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 3 ]
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Mrs T in Prime Minister’s Question Time once used the word “frit” which is dialectal midlands - not just Lincolnshire - for “frightened”.

Is it used as the past-tense verb (The loud noise frit the horses) or just as an adjective (The horses were frit)?

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Posted: 12 May 2013 10:48 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 4 ]
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Here’s the full quote from Mrs T, Doc.

The right hon. Gentleman is afraid of an election is he? Oh, if I were going to cut and run I’d have gone after the Falklands. Afraid? Frightened? Frit? Couldn’t take it? Couldn’t stand it? Right now inflation is lower than it has been for thirteen years, a record the right hon. Gentleman couldn’t begin to touch!

That’s odd, I posted this after my other post, yet it’s placed before it with the wrong time stamp.

[ Edited: 12 May 2013 10:54 AM by aldiboronti ]
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Posted: 12 May 2013 10:50 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 5 ]
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Frit summons up for me afrit, a word of course it has nothing to do with. (For those who don’t recall their Arabian Nights an afrit is a genie). That is a great article on Mrs T, Eliza, thanks for linking it.

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Posted: 12 May 2013 11:18 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 6 ]
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Thanks, aldi. In that instance, it seems to be just an adjective.  But it sounded like Eliza’s knowledge of the term extended to more than that one usage by Mrs. Thatcher, and I hope she can satisfy my curiosity. If it’s used as a preterite, it probably represents a vowel-shift of frigh(en), but if it’s only used as an adjective, it might be an aphetic and metathetic derivative of afeared.

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Posted: 12 May 2013 11:37 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 7 ]
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it sounded like Eliza’s knowledge of the term extended to more

Soundbites: the secret of my linguistic authority, Dr T.  Try it sometime if you haven’t already - it always works.  ;)

And my sources, OED and various websites, mention that “frit” is used not only in Lincolnshire, but as far away as Oxfordshire.  I haven’t heard it in the north of England.  Aldi’s quote is what I was referring to, ie “frit”, an adjective intended to sound more derogatory than “frightened”.

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Posted: 13 May 2013 06:59 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 8 ]
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Afraid? Frightened? Frit?

Sounds like she was just reading from the thesaurus anyway…

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Posted: 13 May 2013 09:13 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 9 ]
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Frit?  That’s a verb, isn’t it?  I mean, what else would a fritter do?

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Posted: 13 May 2013 09:46 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 10 ]
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“What else would a fritter do?”

This critter, let’s rather say submitter, would venture a twitter, that a well-cooked fritter would satisfy an appetite far better than a bitta pitta.

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Posted: 13 May 2013 09:53 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 11 ]
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Following up on my speculations above, I find that the OED lists frit, adj. as a “Dial. and colloq. pa. pple. of fright v. 2a., which is ”trans. To affect with fright; to scare, terrify. Now rare exc. poet. and dial.; in ordinary language its place has been taken by frighten.” The earliest citation for the frit form is 1821, the most recent 1970 (the latter doesn’t represent any cessation of use, of course).

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Posted: 14 May 2013 12:25 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 12 ]
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There was some speculation that “frit” was remembered from her schooldays in Grantham and it is the sort of word I can imagine schoolchildren using to taunt one another.  It’s elite, pithy and can be almost spat out.  We sometimes used “flate” for frightened, which doesn’t have the same impact at all.  I can’t find it anywhere else and I can’t say I’ve heard it anywhere else but maybe someone here has?

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Posted: 14 May 2013 03:09 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 13 ]
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That would be a good name for a horror movie: The Fritters

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