Navigation


Claire

noun;
An instance when a student stays up all night working on homework because he or she procrastinated and did not begin working on it earlier Apparent meaning, etymology, and type of word formation: A “Claire” is when a student stays up all night working on homework because he or she procrastinated and did not begin working on it earlier. This is a perfect instance of a nonce-word, or at least a word that only no has significance outside of a very small circle of four individuals (perhaps a form of shibboleth—giving individuals knowledgeable on the subject a sense of inclusion in the group). The word Claire in this sense only has significance for the group of my three roommates and me. Claire, one of my roommates, has the reputation in our room as a procrastinator and most likely to stay up all night because she has fallen behind on homework. Therefore, this word has acquired a shift in meaning through metonymy (characteristic associated with Claire represents the person herself): procrastination and all-nighters become so closely associated with Claire that her name becomes an eponym for all-nighters themselves. The word “claire” itself comes directly from French, meaning ‘a fattened oyster,’ although, in actuality, the etymology of the word is irrelevant. Possible reason used: Those living with Claire have seen first hand the taxing effect of no sleep as a result of procrastination. Calling an all-nighter a “Claire” immediately draws up a vivid mental image as her roommates recall earlier instances of sleepless nights. The use of the word “Claire” also tightens the closeness of the group of roommates as they recall that single shared experience that outsiders would not know about. Therefore this word has developed this specific meaning only to individuals living in our room, and therefore makes my roommates feel like insiders, privy to select information.
 
I pulled a Claire last night.
Etymology : metonymy from girl’s name “Claire” < F. ‘fattened oyster
Source : roommate
Last modified: 10 June 2008


Navigation

# $ & ( + - 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 @
A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z [ a ab c e f g u v




Options