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Friday, 25 January 2013


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Your word for today is: kimet, adj.


[‘Foolish, stupid; mentally confused or disordered. Also: perverse, obstinate, intractable; awry.’]

Pronunciation: Brit. /ˈkʌɪmət/,  U.S. /ˈkaɪmət/
Forms:  lME kymyd,   17 kemmet,   18 kymed,   18– kimed,   18– kimet,   18– kimit,   18– kyimet,   18– kyimite,   18– kymate,   18– kyment,   18– kymet,   19– kymite Montgomeryshire
Etymology:Origin uncertain. Perhaps the reflex of an unattested Old English *cȳmed, past participle of *cȳman to bewilder, confuse, stupefy, a factitive verb <  cȳme, adjective (see comely adj.), in the unattested sense ‘feeble-minded, stupid’. The Old English adjective is attested only in sense ‘fine, comely, handsome’ (compare also the derivative cȳmlic); however, this seems to show a semantic development, via a sense ‘fragile, delicate, fine’, from an earlier sense ‘weak, feeble, sickly’, both of which senses are attested in the Old High German and Middle High German cognate adjectives; compare discussion at comely adj., and see further F. Heidermanns Etymol. Wörterbuch der germanischen Primäradjektive (1993) 345–6. For a somewhat similar semantic development compare the apparently cognate Old Icelandic (in late sources) kýminn merry, playful, full of fun (15th cent), kýmiligr amusing, funny, comical (15th cent.), Icelandic kýma (also kíma) to smile at, poke fun at (17th cent.).
Compare earlier bekimed adj.akimed adj., and later kime n., and discussion in S. R. T. O. d'Ardenne & E. J. Dobson Seinte Katerine (1981) 242–3.
The rhyme-word in quot. a1450 suggests that the original version of the poem may have had kyme, i.e. an earlier instance of kime n.
In senses ‘perverse, obstinate, intractable’, ‘awry’ (and perhaps also in some forms and pronunciations, e.g. kemmet) probably influenced by cam adj.; compare also kim-kam adj.
Compare also (with alteration of the ending) English regional (Herefordshire) kimistkymist foolish, stupid, befuddled, intoxicated (20th cent.).
 Eng. regional (west.) and Welsh English in later use.
  Foolish, stupid; mentally confused or disordered. Also: perverse, obstinate, intractable; awry.
a1450  in Poems J. Audelay (1931) 222 Now is þer [no] knaue vnder Crist to me wil enclyne..Bot ȝif he be cappid or kymyd [rhyme betyme].
1721  N. Bailey Universal Etymol. Eng. Dict.Kemmet, foolish, Shropsh.
1839  G. C. Lewis Gloss. Words Herefordshire 57 Kyment, stupid.
1841  C. H. Hartshorne Salopia Antiqua 479 Kimit, 1. cross, ill-tempered; 2. awry; 3. disordered in the brain. Ex. ‘a kimit sheep’.
1879  G. F. Jackson Shropshire Word-bk. at KimetThee bist as kyimet as a noud ship—turnin' round an' starrin' about fur things w'en they bin under yore nose... A waggoner, speaking of a cart-horse, said, ‘I dunna like them churn-yedded uns, they bin al'ays so kimit’.
1882  E. L. Chamberlain Gloss. W. Worcs. Words 17 Kimit, silly; idiotic.
1902  E. R. Morris in Eng. Dial. Dict. III. 439/1 [Montgomeryshire] Thee'rt as bad as a kymet ship.
1974  W. Leeds Herefordshire Speech 72 Kimit, kymet, kyment, daft, stupid.
?c1982  S. Hamer Clun Dial. Words 9 Kimet, daft. Used to cover a wide range of oddities, supposedly of mental origin, including eccentric humans, giddy sheep and ‘July sprawler’ goslings.

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