"a non-existent noun"

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Hello :)
When I was watching a show on Polish TV the other day I heard one woman say a noun which is normally non-existent in Polish language but in this situation she used it to describe the way dancers (the show is about dancing) moved. The noun could be described as a quality or state of being like a cat. My question is how would you build this noun in English? Would that be catness or something else?
Thank you in advance :)
 
  • Joelline

    Senior Member
    American English
    Well, I'm not sure I would make up a noun derived from "cat" because it might be misunderstood (or poorly understood) by many people. BUT, if I did make up such a noun, it might be "catting" for the quality and "catter" for the person, though I'd be hardput to put these in a sentence that I'd actually use (The catting of the dancers was lovely to behold! / The catter was most convincing!)!!!
     

    jdenson

    Senior Member
    USA / English
    majlo said:
    Hello :)
    When I was watching a show on Polish TV the other day I heard one woman say a noun which is normally non-existent in Polish language but in this situation she used it to describe the way dancers (the show is about dancing) moved. The noun could be described as a quality or state of being like a cat. My question is how would you build this noun in English? Would that be catness or something else?
    Thank you in advance :)
    It isn't uncommon, in English, to use nonce words (words created for a special purpose). Someone might very well say "My cat is the very essence of 'catness'", with "catness" in quotes to point out its "nonceness".
    JD
     

    rsweet

    Senior Member
    English, North America
    There's a ballet step that's called "pas de chat" (cat step). I believe French is used in all languages for ballet steps.
     
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