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Friday, August 29, 2014

#Canadianism of the day: make strange

#Canadianism of the day: make strange = Cdn & Irish (of a baby or child) fuss or be shy in company.

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  1. Jeff Josselyn-CreightonAugust 29, 2014 at 2:21 PM

    My aunt used to use this of babies. The only time I have encountered it in print is in Samuel Crossman's hymn "My Song Is Love Unknown": "But men made strange, and none / The longed-for Christ would know." But Crossman was English, and referring to adults. Maybe he had heard the expression from Irish folk?

    1. I too am familiar with it from the hymn, one of my faves. It was current in British English formerly, but became archaic,, surviving only in Canada and Ireland.


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Canada's Word Lady, Katherine Barber is an expert on the English language and a frequent guest on radio and television. She was Editor-in-Chief of the Canadian Oxford Dictionary. Her witty and informative talks on the stories behind our words are very popular. Contact her at wordlady.barber@gmail.com to book her for speaking engagements; she can tailor her talks to almost any subject. She is also available as an expert witness for lawsuits.