\ \ [13] Quaint was once a more wholehearted term of approval than it is now. In Middle English it meant ‘clever’ or ‘finely or skilfully made’. Its current sense ‘pleasantly curious’ did not emerge until the 18th century. It comes via Old French coint from Latin cognitusknown’, the past participle of cognōscereknow’ (source of English recognize). The word’s meaning evolved in Old French via the notion of someone who ‘knows’ about something, and hence is an expert at it or is skilful in doing it.

Word origins - 2ed. . 2005.

Игры ⚽ Нужен реферат?

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Quaint — Quaint, a. [OE. queint, queynte, coint, prudent, wise, cunning, pretty, odd, OF. cointe cultivated, amiable, agreeable, neat, fr. L. cognitus known, p. p. of cognoscere to know; con + noscere (for gnoscere) to know. See {Know}, and cf. {Acquaint} …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • quaint´ly — quaint «kwaynt», adjective. 1. a) strange or odd in an interesting, pleasing, or amusing way: »Old photographs seem quaint to us today. b) old fashioned but picturesque or attractive: »a quaint old house. 2. Obsolete. wise; skilled; clever …   Useful english dictionary

  • quaint — [kweınt] adj [Date: 1100 1200; : Old French; Origin: cointe clever , from Latin cognitus known ] unusual and attractive, especially in an old fashioned way ▪ a quaint little village in Yorkshire …   Dictionary of contemporary English

  • quaint — [ kweınt ] adjective interesting or attractive with a slightly strange and old fashioned quality ╾ quaint|ly adverb …   Usage of the words and phrases in modern English

  • quaint — (adj.) early 13c., cunning, proud, ingenious, from O.Fr. cointe pretty, clever, knowing, from L. cognitus known, pp. of cognoscere get or come to know well (see COGNIZANCE (Cf. cognizance)). Sense of old fashioned but charming is first attested… …   Etymology dictionary

  • quaint — [adj1] strange, odd bizarre, curious, droll, eccentric, erratic, fanciful, fantastic, freakish, freaky*, funny, idiosyncratic, laughable, oddball, offbeat, off the beaten track*, original, outlandish, peculiar, queer, singular, special, unusual,… …   New thesaurus

  • quaint — index eccentric, nonconforming, novel, outdated, outmoded Burton s Legal Thesaurus. William C. Burton. 2006 …   Law dictionary

  • quaint — *strange, odd, queer, outlandish, curious, peculiar, eccentric, erratic, singular, unique Analogous words: *fantastic, bizarre, grotesque: droll, funny, *laughable: archaic, antiquated, antique (see OLD) …   New Dictionary of Synonyms

  • quaint — ► ADJECTIVE ▪ attractively unusual or old fashioned. DERIVATIVES quaintly adverb quaintness noun. ORIGIN originally in the sense «wise», «ingenious»: from Old French cointe, from Latin cognoscere ascertain …   English terms dictionary

  • quaint — [kwānt] adj. [ME cointe < OFr < L cognitus, known: see COGNITION] 1. Obs. clever or skilled 2. Now Rare wrought with skill; ingenious 3. unusual or old fashioned in a pleasing way 4. singular; unusual; curious 5. fanciful; whimsical …   English World dictionary

  • quaint — ac·quaint·ance; ac·quaint·ance·ship; quaint·ish; quaint·ly; quaint·ness; ac·quaint; quaint; un·ac·quaint·ed·ness; …   English syllables

Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”