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elec(ing)

verb; clipping
To work on homework or study for a test for an electrical engineering class, especially at Rice University. The derivation exemplifies first clipping and then zero derivation from noun to verb. The noun form comes from the shortening of electrical engineering to elec for the purpose of giving all Rice courses a four letter department abbreviation. As a result, students began to use elec as an abbreviation for electrical engineering in normal conversation and from that it somehow became zero-derived to a verb form meaning to do electrical engineering-related work. The verb form has been seen on shirts about a year old so it’s formation must date back to at least 2004. Others I have spoken with think it may date back to 2003 and been coined by someone in the Rice branch of IEEE. The usage of the verb form, elec, is unique in that it is used almost exclusively in the progressive tense with the –ing inflectional suffix.
 
We’re elecin’ it tonight.
Etymology : The clipped root, elec, comes from the mid-17th century Latin, electricus, that ultimately came from the Greek, electron 'amber' (since they produced electricity by rubbing amber). The English inflectional suffix for creating the progressive tense is almost always used at the end of this word.
Source : Elec 241 problem session
Last modified: 10 June 2008


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