October 21, 2017

Disaffectedly disarraying the funk of Sharon's rose.

 Today, the unlinkable OED is featuring these "recently published" words:
Funk. "Betwixt decks there can hardlie a man fetch his breath by reason there ariseth such a funke in the night that it causes putrefaction of bloud." W. Capps in 1623, quoted in Philip Alexander Bruce "Economic History of Virginia" (1896).

Disaffectedly. "A man in a magazine advertisement with his head turned disaffectedly away from a cup of coffee, saying: ‘Nope, I keep away from it. Keeps me up nights.’" Howard Nemerov in Harvard Advocate (1941).

Sharon's rose (a rare variation of what we normally call "rose of Sharon"): 1855 "That God is good and the rest is breath/Why else is the same styled Sharon's rose?/Once a rose, ever a rose, he saith." Robert Browning, "The Heretic's Tragedy"(1856).

Disarray (as a verb), meaning "To throw into disorder or confusion; to disorder, disorganize" or "To undress (a person); to divest of clothing or other attire; to remove clothing from, strip." In the first sense, from a 1765 translation (by Christopher Smart) of the Psalms of David:
In thee, O righteous Lord, I lay
The ground of all my creed;
Let not confusion disarray
My well form'd thoughts, but as I pray
My soul unto her safety speed
In the second sense: From an 1814 romance called "Alicia de Lacy," by Mrs. Jane West:
She had often been drenched with rain, while in the pursuit of pleasure, but she had not now, as was then the case, attendant damsels to prepare the bath, to help to disarray her, and present warm apparel scented with balmy odours.
And so we end this post where we began, with odor. First, the unbearable stench on a crowded ship headed to 17th century Virginia, and last, the aroma of a luxurious bath. In between, there's the smell of coffee and a flower. I like how, just by chance, the OEDs list of words yielded up quotes that emitted odors and that the odors are in order from bad to good.

Untitled

Serendipity.

35 comments:

Michael K said...

Too bad you can't smell them.

Ann Althouse said...

Why is it too bad that I can't smell a funke in the night that causes putrefaction of bloud?

Let not confusion disarray your well-formed thoughts!

Dust Bunny Queen said...

What does "recently published" mean in the OED context?

Other than Sharon's Rose, which is a mix up of Rose of Sharon, I have known these other words practically all my life. There is nothing new about funk, disaffectedly or disarray.

Howard said...

Marty Funkhouser, my favorite character on Curb My Enthusiam is the brother of Albert Einstein.

Richard Pryor on black exorcist: What in the fuck is that funky smell?
Pryor's Exorcist

Earnest Prole said...

Funk has had that very meaning for four hundred years, and the OED is just now getting around to realizing it? What do they actually do in the OED offices all day long?

Howard said...

Sense of smell is your first line of defense from toxic and chocking gasses. Also, personal hygiene and health are related to what you can smell on and from yourself. My smeller was kaput for several years and I thought that it was great missing out on all those bad smells in this funky world. Got it back a couple years ago and am very very happy about it, do not want to go back to an odorless world. Having a good smeller also saves on salt, pepper and garlic.

Howard said...

OED had to look it up in the Funk and Wagnalls

Ann Althouse said...

"What does "recently published" mean in the OED context?"

I'm trying to figure that out. I'm going to assume it means that something about the entry was edited, but "recently published" is a funny way to say that.

Can it be that the word is getting an entry for the first time? I think it's possible. "Funk" might have been considered slang. "Disaffectedly" might have been relegated to a category of words formed with "-ly" that don't deserve an entry. You can understand them from the adjective and the obvious function of "-ly."

"Disarray" might be newly accepted as a verb. It's the verb entry that's on the list. When you say you've known the word all your life, it may be that the word you know is the noun. We tend to say that things "are in disarray" more than that "X disarrays Y."

And we say "Rose of Sharon" nearly all the time. "Sharon's rose" is a poetic affectation, and when does a 2-word phrase get its own definition?

So, it's conceivable that these really are 4 new entries. I'd say "funk" is the hardest one to believe is completely new.

Hagar said...

Blue funk: depression, depressed state, funk, blue funk, blues

Ann Althouse said...

Notice that it's "funk" in the second meaning. There was an earlier entry for "funk" that defines it the same way as "spunk" and "punk" — to mean a spark.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

"Disarray" might be newly accepted as a verb. It's the verb entry that's on the list."

That is probably it. I don't recall disarray as a verb, except perhaps in some old Victorian bodice ripper novel :-)

Funk has always been a smell, stink, or aura of such around a person (in my recollection). Also funk as in being in a depression or exuding an aura of, or odor of depression. In a funky mood.

Earnest Prole said...

Other dictionaries show the second sense of funk as a non-slang word dating back several hundred years. "Recently published" must be OED's term of art for finding and publishing an earlier printed use of the word; in this case 1623.

Unknown said...

Does a mayonaise jar enter into this anywhere?

Michelle Dulak Thomson said...

"Funk" may be new to the OED, but "funky" sure isn't. "Disarray" as a verb is new to me, but not the noun. "Disaffectedly" I've seen many times in a long reading life, and it never struck me as being something not in the OED. "Sharon's Rose" for "Rose of Sharon" I haven't seen either (until today).

buwaya said...

I was aware of all these before, I am also surprised they weren't "official" long ago.

Michelle Dulak Thomson said...

Added: Who actually knows what "funky" means? I mean, when did the meaning transition from "smelly" to "hip"? When I say that some band's sound is "funky," I'm not trying to say that it stinks to high heaven. (BTW, when did "transition" become a verb, anyway?)

Etienne said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Baceseras said...

I would disallow Sharon's rose as a dictionary entry: every case cited for it is clearly poetic license; the correct lexical form remains rose of Sharon.

Valentine Smith said...

Purposeful perhaps?

walter said...

Reads like a passage from James Joyce's love letters.

Cath said...

I used to work part time for the OED. Antedating written citations of existing words is part of their work. One of the things I did when I worked there was try to find earlier citations of words that were already in the dictionary, or alternate spellings or usages. This has gotten much easier in the era of Google books, by the way - in my time it meant going to the library and hoping to get lucky searching through odd old volumes. Anyway, that may explain why known words like funk or a variation of Rose of Sharon are listed as "recently published"

The OED considers itself descriptive, not proscriptive - in other words, they try to document the language as we have all used it over the centuries, rather than arbitrating what is accepted/correct or not.

Ann Althouse said...

I found the entry history for fiunk and I see that what happened was a complete revision of the entry, including more to the definition than I saw earlier. I think maybe it wasn’t all up before. Now, there is a lot about funk music.

Ann Althouse said...

In the music context, the adjective funky is decades older than the noun funk.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

Play that funky music Whiteboy!

Wow. The 1970's are embarrassing :-O

Fernandinande said...

Today, the unlinkable OED

Are you sure?

http://www.oed.com/
--> Recently published
funk, n.2
disaffectedly, adv.
Sharon's rose, n.
disarray, v. --> http://www.oed.com/view/Entry/53541

Maybe they entered the "twenty-oneth" century.

Or maybe my blockers blocked their blockers - it's happened.

Fernandinande said...

Fernandinande said...
Are you sure?


Arbitrary and capricious: "Sharon's Rose" wants a login, the other don't.

Ann Althouse said...

“Play that funky music, white boy” is one of the OED quotes in the “funky” entry.

McG said...

My surname ancestor would have contributed to a funke aboard one of those ships. I believe he was taken prisoner at Worcester in 1651 while trying to put Charles II -- at the time enthroned as King of Scotland -- on the English throne. Cromwell's forces put Charles to flight and sent Scottish prisoners to America, where my ancestor turned up in Virginia records in 1652 as an indentured servant.

Ann Althouse said...

I think the home page let’s you click into today’s recently published, but I don’t think the link will hold up. You won’t be able to click on internal links or do searches. So I don’t bother making oed links.

The Godfather said...

I have two recollections re funk.

When I was in Army CST (Combat Support Training -- i.e., at least in my case, the training you get after Basic if your primary weapon is going to be a typewriter, not a rifle, tank, cannon, etc.) I came back to the barracks for some reason on Saturday afternoon, and detected a strong smell coming from the shower room. No one was there at the time, but I recognized the smell of pot (I'd smelled it from time to time in law school). The "acting sergeant" who was supposedly in charge of us came in about the same time, and said something like Get a whiff of that. Another trainee, who liked to claim to be very sophisticated, came in at the same time and said "Real funky!" So we knew he didn't know what pot smelled like.

The other story has to do with the Mayflower voyage to Massachusetts. During a storm, the passengers were all down "below" throwing up and shitting like crazy. Think about what that must have been like. Below decks stank under the best of conditions, but in the storm it must have been awful. All the passengers were ordered to stay below, but John Howland, a servant of one of the wealthy puritans, couldn't stand the funk (I would have said stench) and went on deck to clear his head. As a result of the tossing of the ship in the storm, he was thrown overboard into the sea. He was able to catch hold of a line from the ship's rigging that was dragging in the sea, and pulled himself to the surface, and held on until sailors spotted him and pulled him on deck. The puritans decided that Howland's survival was a sign that God favored their cause. I'm a descendant of John Howland, so I have a personal reason to be glad he survived, but among his other descendants are said to be Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, Edith Kermit Carrow Roosevelt (TR’s second wife and first lady), Benjamin Spock, Franklin D. Roosevelt, Humphrey Bogart, George Herbert Walker Bush, Barbara Bush, George W. Bush, Sara Palin, and Alex Baldwin.

As my whimsy leads me.. said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Assistant Village Idiot said...

I have a 1993 SOED in front of me that lists stink, etc, esp tobacco, early 17th C. Other meanings as above. Origin uncertain but perhaps related to Middle Dutch vonk, "smolder." I would therefore guess some relation of "punk" wood, smolder, tobacco, stink, bad air. We can be a little more adventurous with such guesses, as the OED has to be the responsible adult in the room.

I agree that "Sharon's rose" is not legit, merely a poet's device to cram "Rose of Sharon" into a smaller space, sounding clever. Rose of Sharon is biblical, from Song of Solomon, and refers to a prized flower - possibly a crocus of some sort - from a fertile plain called Sharon.

As my whimsy leads me.. said...

My mother called them “those damned rose of Sharon,” because they spread terribly and are hard to get rid of. Any ideas, Meade, besides just digging them up or Roundup? I’ve got them growing in my fence. I don’t know why “Sharon’s rose” would even
be used. My impression of “Sharon,” when it was referred to in the Bible, was that it was s place, not a female name.

Toy

Earnest Prole said...

The 1970's are embarrassing.

"Play That Funky Music White Boy" was a huge R&B hit in 1976, the same year that another great white R&B song, Boz Scaggs' "Lowdown," topped the charts. That year may have been the greatest year ever in popular music; the closest competition would be 1977 or 1975. And looking back at the movies of the 1970s, they sure as hell are better than today's. The clothes are ugly, but otherwise 1970s culture holds up just fine.

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