Snowmen and otherwise

I asked if there was another example, and here one is.

abominable, a. (and adv.)

[…In med.L. and OFr., and in Eng. from Wyclif to 17th c., regularly spelt abhominable, and explained as ab homine, quasi ‘away from man, inhuman, beastly,’ a derivation which influenced the use and has permanently affected the meaning of the word. No other spelling occurs in the first folio of Shakespeare, which has the word 18 times; and in L.L.L. V. i. 27, Holophernes abhors the ‘rackers of ortagriphie,’ who were beginning to write abominable for the time-honoured abhominable.]

A. adj.

1. Exciting disgust and hatred, generally by evident ill qualities, physical or moral; offensive, loathsome; odious, execrable, detestable. a. Of things.

b. Of persons.

c. Abominable Snowman, name applied to a creature alleged to exist in the Himalayas. (Cf. YETI.)

2. loosely. Very unpleasant or distasteful.

B. as adv.

¶ABOMINABLE has occasionally been used, like terrible, prodigious, as a simple intensive. Juliana Berners (15th c.) writes of ‘a bomynable syght of monks,’ i.e. a large company. Cf. ABOMINATION 5 and ABOMINATIONLY.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s