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walrusing

verb; other word formation type creative formation
to lay down in a lazy manner and be unproductive especially after eating or tiring activity. Metaphor of the word walrus from the 1650s, from Dutch walrus, which was probably a folk-etymology alteration (by influence of Dutch walvis "whale" and ros "horse") of a Scandinavian word, such as Old Norse rosmhvalr "walrus," hrosshvalr "a kind of whale," or rostungr "walrus." Old English had horschwæl, and later morse, from Lapp morsa or Finnish mursu, which ultimately might be the source, much garbled, of the first element in Old Norse rosmhval. Walruses are often seen laying around in groups and the term could have been metaphorically changed to apply to humans who imitate such behavior.
 
“Don’t start walrusing. You still have an essay to write.”
Etymology : Metaphor of the word walrus from the 1650s, from Dutch walrus, which was probably a folk-etymology alteration (by influence of Dutch walvis "whale" and ros "horse") of a Scandinavian word, such as Old Norse rosmhvalr "walrus," hrosshvalr "a kind of whale," or rostungr "walrus." Old English had horschwæl, and later morse, from Lapp morsa or Finnish mursu, which ultimately might be the source, much garbled, of the first element in Old Norse rosmhval. Walruses are often seen laying around in groups and the term could have been metaphorically changed to apply to humans who imitate such behavior.
Source : October 2013 - conversation with friend
Last modified: 25 November 2013


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