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Re: Queen Anne-fied

Posted by Smokey Stover on May 09, 2004

In Reply to: Re: Two questions posted by Smokey Stover on May 08, 2004

: : 1. What is the meaning of "I never could see myself that much was the matter with me" in the phrase:

: : Many years ago, when I was a young man, I was taken very ill - I never could see myself that much was the matter with me, except that I had a beastly cold.

: : 2. What is the meaning of the "-fied" suffix in:

: : And twice a day I should go down in a Bath chair to the Colonnade to drink the waters... "Drinking the waters" sounded fashionable and Queen Anne-fied, and I thought I should like them.

: : Thanks a lot!

: 1. I think that the writer is saying: "Although I was very sick, it did not appear to me that there was much wrong with me, aside from a nasty cold." His use of "myself" suggests that others (but not me) regarded me as very sick.
: 2. The suffix "-fied." I'm sorry, I'm too lazy to look this up right now, but it is usually used to signify "made" or "made up." Electrified=made electric, supplied with electricity. Countrified=made country-like, made to project a rural image. Petrified=made into stone, turned into stone. Speechified (humorous slang)=made speeches or made a speech. Vilified=made vile, made to seem vile, tried to make vile. Calcified=turned into calcium. This only works sometimes. Someone will be along in a minute to tell you what the reference works have to say. SS

Well, I may be wrong about a better-informed opinion coming along any minute. It's not easy to look up a suffix. In general, the suffix -fy comes from a French word of which the infinitive ends in -fier, and which in turn is derived from a Latin word which has an infinitive like -ficare or -ficere. I suppose, although I don't know, that these Latin words have incorporated (and abbreviated) the word facere.
As for Queen Anne-fied. It's not an attractive word, nor would Queen Annified be any better. Moreover, the meaning is not exactly obvious. The Queen Anne period (r. 1702-1714) was characterized by social teas becoming popular among the upper classes, and by political wrangling of a bitter sort. (Nothing new there.) The furniture style associated with her reign (e.g.,the Queen Anne highboy) became very popular in what the Encyclopedia Britannica calls "the North American colonies." But this is a matter for social history, not linguistic. Sorry to be of so little help. SS