Grammer/English Nazis....a moment of your time for my Daily Brainfart.

Naked is to be without clothing. nekkid is to be without clothing online :slight_smile:

It is always in this form, I’m guessing, past tense ( if that is what I am looking for) as I have never heard it in it’s Nake tense. It’s been a long long time since I had to know past, present, whatever and I think I have successfully blotted out those horrid, horrid memories of diagramm/phing a sentance. by The Nuns!
This word has been bothering me for awhile and I was actually surprised to find that Nake is a word. To make naked.
Has anyone ever actually used this word? Read it? Or is it archaic?

Are there any other words out there that are only used in past tense format?

Naked is an adjective describing a condition. I.e bare or without coveriing, unadorned and so on. As such it doesn’t have tenses.

“Nake” would be someone’s back formation into a verb that none of the dictionaries I have recognizes.

According to the Oxford English Dictionary (full edition), the verb “nake” is obsolete. It had both a regular transitive sense:

and a transitive, reflexive sense:

The last quotation the OED has for sense 1 is from 1887, and the last quotation for sense 2 is from 1533.

So then, nake the verb precedes naked the adjective. Interesting.

So that means that “naked” is a past participle of “to nake”, sort of like “agèd”.

That’s what I get for being lazy and not going clear upstairs to get my compact OED.

That says that “nake” is “based directly on the adjective.” The ealiest citation for the adjective “naked” is in 850. The earliest for “nake” is 1320. It also happens that “naked” is the pp for “nake” but that’s just an artifact of the way pps are formed.

David Simmons has it right.

“Nake” is a back-formation, derived from the adjective “naked.”

Use of “nake” as a verb seems to have been pretty rare, if the date chart for quotations in the OED is any indication.

Thanks…I understood none of it.


Did you mean you don’t understand what a back-formation is?

It’s simply the creation of a word, usually from a longer word, and then people assume that the newly-created word is actually the original.

Perhaps i can explain it best by quoting from Bryan Garner’s Dictionary of Modern American Usage:

You see, you assumed in the OP that the adjective “naked” had somehow originated from the part tense or past participle of the verb “to nake,” but in fact the opposite was the case—“naked” came first, and then someone decided to make a verb out of it.

Some back-formations (verbs based on nouns or adjectives) enter the language quite easily, and are now in common usage. Garner gives examples like diagnose (from diagnosis), donate (donation), and resurrect (resurrection).

Other back-formations, usually of more recent origin, tend to be considered jargon or plain bad grammar by some grammarians. Garner gives liaise (from liaison), first used in the 1920s, as one such example, saying that it “is still stigmaitzed as being cant or jargon” by many people.

On the other hand, when discussing surveil, Garner says that it is a “relatively new, and decidely useful, verb corresponding to the noun surveillance.” The first use of this verb in an American court can apparently be traced to 1960. Of course, as a lawyer as well as a lexicographer, Garner might be predisposed to approve of back-formations that apply to his own profession.

As a spelling Nazi as well as a grammar Nazi, I’d just like to mention that there is no E in grammar.

But what about nakey? What about nakey?!

I’d rather be naking.

Coincidentally, there is a recent thread in which my misunderstanding of back formations is corrected, and other examples are given.