Sunday, April 17, 2005

And now for something completely nother

Given the widespread use of the "a whole nother" construction, one would expect 'nother' to show up in other constructions, but after much highly scientific introspection about my internal grammar, I was convinced, though puzzled, that it did in fact not work in other constructions.

I was talking with slowlane tonight, though, and she said, "He's got a full nother week." There it is--a perfectly sensible utterance. Where else does 'nother' already appear in the wild? How else shall 'nother' be used?

Googling 'nother -whole' doesn't show much of interest, but buried in the hits of the surname Nother and "'nother" at the beginning of a phrase, are "some nother stuff" and "some nother wierd things." Furthermore, '"a * nother" -whole' turns up "a hefty nother thing", "a good nother 20 years", "a totally nother context", "a single nother person", and "a couple nother questions", among others.

3 comments:

Mataikhan said...

Yes, and http://www.websters-online-dictionary.org helpfully points out that 'nother' appears in such words as "hypnotherapy" and i nothers like it.

And have you considered the "one a nothers"? William Tyndale in his "exposition of the fyrste Epistle of seynt Ihon" encourages us "Dearly beloued let vs loue one a nother."
http://www.fh-augsburg.de/~harsch/anglica/Chronology/16thC/Tyndale/tyn_exj4.html

the girl in the red hat said...

Well, I think that you are actually looking for a variant of 'nuther' I think this is what our estimed professor of American Dialectolgy calls 'eye-dialect'

Erin said...

In some examples it seems to be that "another" takes infixes in the form of emphatic modifiers--a-full-nother, a-whole-nother--or specifiers--a-single-nother. If it's an infix variation, that might explain why you don't see it in other constructions.