Author Topic: lathed-uncommon?  (Read 239 times)


  • Eulexic
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« on: June 04, 2020, 07:25:10 PM »
Most common tools have a matching verb, the inflected forms of which are almost always common too:

hammer -  hammered / saw - sawed / drill - drilled / plane - planed  etc.

However in yesterday's mothballed 10-letter game, lathe was common, but lathed was rare.

lathed was actually played by more than 50% of those taking part [176/333] and indeed got more hits than several other words [ method, debt, delta etc] whose common status cannot be argued with.

A suitable case for an 'upgrade' perhaps?


  • Word-meister
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Re: lathed-uncommon?
« Reply #1 on: June 05, 2020, 09:16:14 AM »


  • Glossologian
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Re: lathed-uncommon?
« Reply #2 on: June 09, 2020, 06:04:27 AM »
I disagree. In my experience, people who use a lathe don't say that they lathed something, they turned it on a lathe.  This is in contrast to the use of the other tools you mentioned: hammer, drill, plane. If one looks at the Google ngram viewer, the occurrence of lathed is perilously close to zero. Hammered and drilled are much more common, due to their usage in contexts that have nothing to do with tools, and I have certainly heard and read people saying that they had planed a door or a board. But lathed? I don't doubt that it exists as a verb, but I seriously question its commonness.

As to the fact that fifty percent of players found lathed, I attribute that to the fact that a goodly number of word game players are savvy enough to try adding -d or -ed to almost any noun to make another acceptable word. This does not, in my view, justify making it a common word.
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