Is wihajster a name for an artifact? A lexicological study Cover Image

Czy "wihajster" jest nazwą artefaktu? Szkic leksykologiczny
Is wihajster a name for an artifact? A lexicological study

Author(s): Sebastian Żurowski
Subject(s): Language and Literature Studies, Theoretical Linguistics, Lexis
Published by: Instytut Slawistyki Polskiej Akademii Nauk
Keywords: lexicology; names for artifacts; colloquial language; regionalism

Summary/Abstract: The basic focal points of this article are the features of the word wihajster – both those inter- (grammar and semantics) and extralinguistic (etymology, orthography, pragmatics). Moreover, the article mentions other expressions characteristic of regional varieties of Polish which share some similar semantic features. The presented semantic interpretation implies that, generally, wihajster is a semantically marked synonym for narzędzie ‘tool,’ some of the examples, however, show that there are speakers who attribute to it an even broader scope of reference. The examples that illustrate the analysis have mostly been derived from fiction. Their analysis shows that referring to wihajster as a "post-war neologism" is not justified. The word undoubtedly appeared in Polish before World War II, and most probably even back in the 19th century. It is equally unreliable from the academic point of view to call wihajster a Germanism – unless we are prepared to abandon defining the latter as a loan word from German. All in all, the word does indeed imitate in sound the German phrase wie heisst er?, yet this linguistic unit did not evolve within German and thus is not an external loan. It can only be considered an internal loan from local dialects into general Polish.

  • Issue Year: 2015
  • Issue No: 50
  • Page Range: 77-100
  • Page Count: 24
  • Language: Polish