a word that survives only one (or several) fixed expression(s)?

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cyaxares_died

Banned
Deutsch
Is there a grammatical term for a word that has fallen into disuse and persists in a language only in one (or several) fixed expression(s)? For example, like "bated" in "bated breath". There's heaps of other examples I just can't think of them now.
 
  • cyaxares_died

    Banned
    Deutsch
    No, I don't think that's it.
    It's not so much the fact that the word was more common before that is in the spotlight here, but the fact that it only appears in conjunction with a fixed expression.
     

    Loob

    Senior Member
    English UK
    Maybe "linguistic fossil"?

    EDIT: Or "fossil word": definition here.
     
    Last edited:

    CapnPrep

    Senior Member
    AmE
    Aronoff (1976) coined the term "cranberry word" (i.e. the syntactic counterpart to "cranberry morphs" in morphology). You can download some lists of examples (English/German) here.
     
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