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lead

verb; zero derivation
lead, v. to put lead into a mechanical pencil
 
This is a classic example of zero derivation, as 'to lead' comes from the noun 'lead,' or 'a small piece of graphite, as used in pencils.' The verb 'lead' thus refers to the act of putting lead into a mechanical pencil.
Etymology : 'To lead' comes from the noun 'lead,' which now means 'a small piece of graphite, as used in pencils.' Black lead was an old name for "graphite," hence lead pencil. Before this, lead referred to the actual metal with the chemical symbol Pb. This name came from Old English from West Germanic *loudhom and meant 'heavy metal.'
Source : "Hold on. I need to lead this pencil first." - Rice student doing Physics homework 11/3/08
Last modified: 27 November 2008


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