July 5, 2006

Post Positive Adjectives

My friend JP plays an addictive little game coming up with phrases with post positive adjectives, adjectives that come after the noun, princess royal for example. As many of the phrases are of French origin, there is speculation the first of these were Normanisms that became an acceptable English form. Indeed many these phrases are legalisms which would make sense as many legal concepts became codified into English law shortly after the Norman conquest (The Normans added a hefty dose of bureaucracy and centralization to Anglo-Saxon legal affairs).

An interesting side panel on both the plural form and the proper hyphenation of court martial can be found in the middle of this page.

Some examples of phrases with post positive adjectives:

ambassador plenipotentiary
bar sinister
fiddlers three
judge advocate general
time past
mother superior
rhyme royal
chaise longue
moment supreme
battle royal...

Do any more come to mind?

posted at 01:07 PM by raul

Filed under: noted


07/05/06 03:34 PM

ipod nano!

07/06/06 03:47 AM

Poet laureate?

07/06/06 01:17 PM

attorney general
film noir

07/09/06 12:42 AM

well, from "bar sinister" I'm reminded of "bend sinister" and speculate that Nabokov would've been very good at this game.

07/10/06 04:08 PM

heir apparent
cherries jubilee
stage left
film noir
cheeseburger deluxe
points north

02/06/08 04:41 PM

"redux" always appears postpositively

01/28/09 07:30 AM

point blank

10/21/09 11:31 PM

How about the very common 'x years old'?

09/12/10 05:07 AM

No time to write a French-like word in legalese, but I LOVE your idea, so I had to let you know.

Oh maybe I can think of one. Aherm, Prince consort?

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