Bodypart compounds referring to people?

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ThomasK

Senior Member
Belgium, Dutch
We have quite some pejorative terms in Dutch and especially in dialects consisting of evaluative N/ADJ: V + bodypart referring to people. Main body parts:

- mouth (mond, muil [for animals mainly], ...) : melkmuile (milk mouth/...), ...
- ear (oor); domoor (dumb ear)klet
- ass or "lower part of the back" (gat, kont [more pejorative], ... - kletskonte ("chatter ass")
- head (hoofd, kop [informal]): warhoofd (somoneone who is always confused...), ...

Do have these metonoymies in your languages, the above words referring to a person? So not a long-ear or a scarface, because the long ear is a feature representing the person. In my case it would be for example the face in a dumbface that would be the metonymy...
 
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  • ThomasK

    Senior Member
    Belgium, Dutch
    So this is a double bodypart compound, I guess. The keyword will be the culo (or ...?) so that you get something like a "face ass": your ass looks like a face? But I am not sure at all. (I would rather have expected an "ass face"... )

    I may be allowed to point out a distinction:
    - I am not looking for things like paleface, redskin, redneck. (We used to think that Indians referrred to cowboys as bleekgezciht, paleface, whereas they themselves were called roodhuid, redskin... That reminds me of the word rednecks. ) All of these are perfect examples of metonymies and pejorative to some extent, but these are metonyms based on an aspect of our appearance, worded (?) in the two parts of the compound.

    - I am looking for words where the second part is a part of the body, the mouth/ ear/ass/.... referring to the person ; the first word is evaluative or refers to the activity that is detested...
     
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    Circunflejo

    Senior Member
    Castellano de Castilla
    The keyword will be the culo
    No, the face. The literal meaning would be to have a face that seems an ass (i.e.: as ugly as that). However, the meaning isn't literal and its used like butthead or assface in English.
     

    ThomasK

    Senior Member
    Belgium, Dutch
    Well, I think most of the words I wanted to refer to are evaluative, often gross-sounding or even indeed swear words... (And I refrained from mentioning our gross word kloot referring to balls...)

    Thanks for the hint on the structure of caraculo and faccia da culo. I did not express myself, I am afraid: I meant: the most important in a syntactic sense. In Dutch the second part is syntacticalley the main part; the rest is considered an addition. A egghead would be head that is like an egg, not the other way round.

    But butthead reminded me of head as a metonymy!
     

    Awwal12

    Senior Member
    Russian
    Again we come to the relative productivity of different compond models in different languages. Russian have very few compound nouns formed according to the model "modifier + generic noun" in general. It has some compound adjectives which include body parts and may refer to people (as attributives or, frequently, just as substantivates), though:
    желторотый - ~"yellow-mouthed" ("green", "rookie")
    тупоголовый - ~"dumb-headed" ("dumb", "stupid")
    криворукий - ~"crooked-handed" ("cack-handed", "clumsy", "lacking skill or natural capabilities in handcraft")
    etc.
    (No idiomatic references to asses, by the way.)
     
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    Olaszinhok

    Senior Member
    Standard Italian
    I meant: the most important in a syntactic sense. In Dutch the second part is syntacticalley the main part; the rest is considered an addition. A egghead would be head that is like an egg, not the other way round.
    I have a hard time understanding your point. In the Romance languages you cannot have such a structure as in the Germanic languages, essentially because the adjective generally follows the noun, so the normal structure is the other way round, that is to say, noun + adjective or + modifier. Oftentimes, you can also find a preposition in between.
     

    ThomasK

    Senior Member
    Belgium, Dutch
    There is a difference indeed, quite so. I was aware of that, but I am just asking whether you can see some parallel.

    However, I do think there is a parallel with something like "... de ..." (tête de pipe, peut-être, or "nodocéphale", however, that is a metonymy based on a feature (pipe head (...), knot head (...). It should be more like "talking head" , which I would then understand as a head (person) who talks too much... [But that is not the meaning in English, i know]...

    But I do find fesse-mathieu (face-Matthew); he is a Matthew-face (= Matthew type of person, I think). some kind of Scrooge... So that would be an example. But I guess such words are rare...
     
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