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English Lexicon - Essay Example

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English Lexicon

Since the middle of the 20th century it has been primarily thought of as a diminutive of Jennifer."1 Jane is the
This name has many forms, and as such has many meanings within the English lexicon. A jenny is defined, by Merriam-Webster's Online Dictionary, as either one of three things, the first two being derived from 1600 from the name Jenny: 1) a female bird, as in a jenny wren; 2) a female donkey; or 3) a spinning jenny, "an early multiple-spindle machine for spinning wool or cotton" (ca. 1783, derived from Jenny, a nickname for Jane).3 Jen is, in Chinese philosophy, "a compassionate love for humanity or for the world as a whole."4
There are multiple dictionary entries, however, for the word jane, which is based on the namesake Jane. One dictionary says that jane is slang for "a girl or a woman."5 The Free Dictionary claims that the word jane is a "coin of Genoa" or "any small coin"; also, a jane could be a "kind of twilled cotton cloth."6
There are other variations on the name Jane and usages of the name Jane. The name Jane Doe has become a part of the English lexicon in order to describe "an average or ordinary woman" or it can be "[u]sed as a name in legal proceedings to designate an unknown or unidentified woman or girl."7 Jane Doe was just a generic name, but it has taken a very popular turn in recent times, becoming part of the vocabulary of the general public. Mary Jane is slang for marijuana.8 Supposedly that name is associated with marijuana because you have Mary associated with mari- and Jane associated with -juana. That's understandable. Also adopted into the English lexicon by way of the name Jane is the term plain-Jane, which means "[l]acking adornment or pretension; basic or simple."9
The name Jean is also commonly used, which is feminine, and

"Medieval English variant of JehanneIt was common
in England and Scotland during the Middle Ages, but eventually
became rare in England. It was reintroduced to the English-speaking
world from Scotland in the 19th century."10

The word jean, of course, has been introduced into the English lexicon, and has two meanings, according to the Free Dictionary. A jean can be either a "heavy, strong, twilled cotton, used in making uniforms and work clothes" or plural jeans, "[p]ants made of jean, denim, or another durable fabric."11
Secondly, what will be discussed is boys' names, or masculine names, which have been adapted into the lexicon. First we will begin by analyzing the name Peter. The name Peter is

"[d]erived from the Greek (Petros) meaning 'stone'.
This is a translation used in most versions of the New Testament
of the name Cephas, meaning 'stone' in Aramaic, which was given
to the apostle Simon by Jesus (compare Matthew 16:18 and John 1:42).
Simon Peter was the most ...Show more

Summary

There are many common names that have become a part of the English lexicon through simply having been used either as slang or as common parlance. All of them have some sort of explanation as to why they have become part of the lexicon although being a proper name…
Author : jmayert
English Lexicon essay example
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