Author Topic: stroppier  (Read 2379 times)

rogue_mother

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stroppier
« on: April 26, 2014, 07:44:42 AM »
I have never heard of stroppier, which was listed as common in the properties 10-letter puzzle. In my opinion, it ought to be banished to the less common category on the basis that it is regional slang.
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Butcherbird

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Re: stroppier
« Reply #1 on: April 26, 2014, 12:49:30 PM »
I disagree.  It's very common in Britain and Australia and perhaps other Empire colonies.  Thought to have derived from obstreperous.

Alan W

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Re: stroppier
« Reply #2 on: April 26, 2014, 02:02:15 PM »
Without reviewing this particular case just now, it's evident that rogue_mother and Butcherbird are arguing from different premises. The word common has a variety of meanings that could be applied to our word list, but the concept that I'm trying to apply is, to quote from the Questions and Answers page:

Quote
The aim is that a reasonably well-read English-speaking person will be likely to have encountered all of our "common" words at some time.

So, as r_m says, a word with a regional character is likely to be ruled out. The reason is, that I want getting all the "common" words to be a test of the ability to call to mind the words that the player knows, rather than a test of the breadth of the player's vocabulary. So when a player finds out the next day which common words they missed, they'll say, "D'oh! I could have got all of them!"
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Tom44

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Re: stroppier
« Reply #3 on: April 27, 2014, 11:17:55 AM »
Here is the problem, Alan.  I am a reasonably well read person, but I am an American.  Stroppier might be a common word across the pond or down under, but I suspect it isn't so common where I live.  In any case, the closest I would come to guessing it would be a weird variation on strop as in what a barber does to a straight razor, but it sure isn't common to me.  However, having said that, this is a problem without a clear solution.  You cannot (IMO) ban from common a word simply because it is uncommon in NA, or any other particular English speaking area of the globe, but neither does a widely used expression from any particular place make it eligible to be a common word.  A conundrum.
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Alan W

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Re: stroppier
« Reply #4 on: October 29, 2014, 12:28:52 PM »
Coming back to this topic, I agree with RM's suggestion that stroppier ought not to remain as a common word. The same applies to stroppy and stroppily, both of which are currently classed as common. Stroppiest is already classed as rare.

For those who don't know, stroppy is a colloquialism meaning bad-tempered and argumentative. Originating in Britain, it's now quite well-known in Australia and various other places, as Butcherbird notes. However, it's obviously not widely known in the US, which means it is not common to all major English-speaking populations.

Stroppy is believed to be derived from obstreperous, and is fairly recent in origin, with the earliest known use in a play first performed in 1950, according to World Wide Words: "There ainít nothing clever about answering him back and being stroppy." The playwright, Hugh Hastings was actually Australian, but the play was written in Britain and is about British seamen.

By back formation the word strop has come to be used to mean bad temper - "Don't get in a strop." However this word will remain common because of its razor-sharpening use.
Alan Walker
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