Phrasing: A Whole Nother

20 Feb

I am usually a well-spoken gentleman but every now and then my country education betrays me. My two most common misdemeanours are saying ‘haych’ as in ‘haych arr’ (my occupation, funnily enough), or ‘nother’, as in ‘a whole nother’.

Now I’ve never claimed ‘nother’ to be a proper word, but I do think it should be, and it seems I’m not alone. A column 8 reader recently wrote about her daughter saying there was “a whole nother week to the holidays”. The phrase has been used on Friends, and Martha Stewart, who represents everything that is good and right and fair, also uses it. Someone even started a blog about it (but admittedly didn’t get very far).

The Urban Dictionary defines the phrase as “Unique in the English language as one of the few ‘infixes’ (as opposed to prefix or suffix). Other infixes include re-fucking-diculous. eg … so we were all sitting there butt naked,.. but that’s a-whole-nother story.”

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Posted by on February 20, 2009 in thinking


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