Though William Shakespeare often gets credit for coining the word tosspot, its first recorded use was in 1568, when Shakespeare was a mere four years old. The word means a lush, a drunkard or fool & hearkens back to the day when folk drank their ale or mead from pots. It seems a tosspot tossed back his or her pot, and was known for doing so a little too often.
A more delicious usage of tosspot is discussed in the comments section of Anu Garg’s amazing AWAD (A Word A Day) listserv, in which Gregory M. Harris mentions the phenomenon of the tosspot word.
Tosspot words are compound words built of a verb, then a noun, in that order. Some examples include:
Big thanks to Gregory M. Harris who made the AWAD comment that got me interested in this phenomenon & inspired some happy pondering.
In the comments section, please propose other tosspot words to lengthen the list, or argue for why a word on the list doesn’t belong there, or...
My thanks go out to this week’s sources: the OED, Librarian’s Muse, Etymonline. Sign Specialist, & A Word A Day
I write for teens, narrate audio books, bake bread, play music, and ponder the wonder of words in a foggy little town on California's central coast.
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