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16 May 2011 @ 08:50 pm
A Word of the Day with which I have great difficulty  
no, adv.2
Pronunciation: Brit. /nəʊ/, U.S. /noʊ/
Forms: α. OE– na; Eng. regional (chiefly north.) 18 nawe, 18– naa, 18– naah, 18– naw, 18– neaa, 18– neea; Sc. pre-17 17– na Sc. /na/, /nɑ/, 19– naa, 19– naw. β. ME now perh. transmission error, ME (18– Eng. regional) noa, ME (18– Eng. regional) noo, ME– no, 18– nooa Eng. regional (north.). Forms with o occurring three or more times are also occas. attested.
Etymology:Spec. use of no adv.1 Compare nay adv.1
Of the two parallel Old English forms of no adv.1, na and no, only na appears to have been used in this application. This developed regularly in southern and midland dialects in Middle English. In the north and Scotland the expected raising and fronting are absent: perhaps compare twā, whā. Compare nah adv.2
 1.
 a. Expressing a negative reply to a question, request, etc., or introducing a correction of an erroneous opinion or assumption on the part of another person. Also, in reported speech, with ellipsis of verb of speaking.
On the distinction between no and nay, see nay adv.1
α.
OE tr. Apollonius of Tyre xx. 32‘Lareow, ne ofþingð hit ðe gif ic þus wer geceose?’ Apollonius cwæð: ‘Na, ac ic blissige swiðor ðæt þu miht‥þe silf on gewrite gecyðan hwilcne heora þu wille.’
a1400 (1325) Cursor Mundi (Fairf. 14) 766‘Wate þou quar-fore?’ ‘na [a1400 Vesp. nai; a1400 Gött. nay].’
c1480 (1400) St. Placidus 600 in W. M. Metcalfe Legends Saints Sc. Dial. (1896) II. 86Þane cane þai at hym hertly spere‥gyf he wist quhare he was‥he sad: ‘na’.
a1522 G. Douglas tr. Virgil Æneid (1959) vii. vi. 32Hes nocht Troy all infyrit ȝit thame brynt? Na: all sic laboure is for nocht and tynt.
1572 (1500) Taill of Rauf Coilȝear 79Na, thank me not ouir airlie, for dreid that we threip.
1596 J. Dalrymple tr. J. Leslie Hist. Scotl. (1895) II. 75Na; not sa: bot he, quhen pleises him selfe wil cum.
1613 in W. Cramond Church of Aberdour (1896) 9After‥lawful tryell of his knowledge‥they may say yea or na to his admission.
1634 T. Heywood & R. Brome Late Lancashire Witches iii. sig. F,Na, if the Witches have but rob'd of your meat, and restor'd your reason, here has beene no hurt done to day.
1725 A. Ramsay Gentle Shepherd i. i. 3Na Patie, na! I'm na sic churlish Beast.
1786 R. Burns To Louse iv,Na faith ye yet! ye'll no be right Till ye've got on it.
1816 Scott Old Mortality vii, in Tales of my Landlord 1st Ser. II. 147Na, my leddy, it's no that.
1827 J. Wilson Noctes Ambrosianae xxxiii, in Blackwood's Edinb. Mag. June 897Na, sir—I canna say that I should.
1894 R. O. Heslop Northumberland Words (at cited word),‘Are ye gan win us?’ ‘Na.’
1958 J. Kesson White Bird Passes x. 158‘Ye tell her, then, Jeems! Ye ken all the answers!’ ‘Na, hardly.’
1995 I. Banks Whit xxii. 358Is he jealous? Na; I think he's proud, and he likes watching, anyway.
β.
a1250 (1200) Ancrene Riwle (Nero) (1952) 99‘Noa [c1230 Corpus Cambr. na],’ he seið, ‘ne mei nout makien þeos to sunegen þuruh ȝiuernesse.’
c1275 (1216) Owl & Nightingale (Calig.) 997Ȝut þu aisheist wi ich ne fare In to oþer londe & singe þare. No, wat sholde ich among hom do?
a1375 William of Palerne 2701‘No, madame,’ seide hire douȝter, ‘marie þat graunt.’
c1384 Bible (Wycliffite, E.V.) (Douce 369(2)) Zech. iv. 5‘Wher thou wost not what ben these thingus?’ And Y saide, ‘No, my lord.’
a1425 (1385) Chaucer Troilus & Criseyde (1987) i. 761‘Lat be thyne olde ensaumples.’‥ ‘No,’ quod tho Pandarus.
c1450 tr. Honorius Augustodunensis Elucidarium (1909) 27‘Resseyuede not Judas þis sacrament as ferforth as petir?’‥ ‘No, forsoþe.’
1535 Bible (Coverdale) John i. 21Art thou the Prophet? And he answered: No.
1591 Troublesome Raigne Iohn i. sig. B2v,Wilt thou vpon a frantick madding vaine Goe loose thy land, and say thy selfe base borne? No, keepe thy land.
a1616 Shakespeare Two Gentlemen of Verona (1623) i. iii. 91My heart accords thereto; And yet a thousand times it answers no.
1646 R. Crashaw Steps to Temple 90When heaven bids come, who can say no?
1702 D. Defoe Shortest Way with Dissenters 3Now they cry out Peace, Union, Forbearance, and Charity.‥ No Gentlemen, the Time of Mercy is past.
1718 G. Sewell Proclam. Cupid 8The Fools say, Yes; but wiser Chaucer, No.
1766 O. Goldsmith Vicar of Wakefield I. xiii. 126No, cries the Dwarf‥no, I declare off.
1817 Parl. Deb. 1st Ser. 413On the question that the bill do pass, being finally put, the cry of ‘No’, from the Opposition side, was very loudly pronounced.
1857 J. Toulmin Smith Parish 62The whole number present at the meeting must range themselves, aye and no, on the two opposite sides of the room.
1861 G. H. Lewes Let. 20 Aug. in ‘G. Eliot’ Lett. (1954) III. 446She allows herself to be preyed upon dreadfully by the boys—she can't say No.
1961 Listener 21 Dec. 1065/2He was made Minister of Labour in a season when the Government's economic policy meant saying ‘no’ to wage demands.
1988 Lit. & Theol. 2 164We may suppose that we read Lacan or Foucault.‥ But no! what we read is French, or French translated into usually American English.
b. After a verb of thinking or implying. Obs.
1601 Bp. W. Barlow Def. Protestants Relig. 7We dullard Protestantes thinke no.
1621 R. Montagu Diatribæ Hist. Tithes 388For my part I thinke no, vnlesse he held possessions in the Land of Promise.
1634 J. Canne Necessitie of Separation v. 218His wordes import positively no, but we are sure yes, & so will every wise man‥affirm too.
 c. not to take no for an answer and variants: to refuse to accept denial or a rebuff.
1853 T. C. Haliburton Sam Slick's Wise Saws I. v. 119You first of all force yourself into my cabin, won't take no for an answer, and then complain of oncivility.
1879 G. Meredith Egoist vii,He half refuses. I do not take no from him.
1930 W. S. Churchill My Early Life iv. 74Come on now, all you young men.‥ Don't take no for an answer, never submit to failure.
1961 Family Jrnl. Dec. 15/3He would not take ‘No’ for an answer.
1985 Times 14 Nov. 23/1‘He won't take No for an answer,’ said one, implying that if he could not get through the front door he would try the lavatory window.
 2. Used interrogatively.
 a. Questioning a negative statement or inference.
c1225 (1200) St. Juliana (Bodl.) 166‘Ne nulle ich‥þe mix maumez‥heien‥for teone ne for tintreohe þet ȝe me mahe timbrin.’ ‘Na? Nult tu?’
a1425 (1385) Chaucer Troilus & Criseyde (1987) ii. 277‘Sey ye me nevere er now——What sey ye, no?’ ‘Yis, yys.’
c1450 (1380) Chaucer House of Fame 1895‘But these be no suche tydynges As I mene of.’ ‘Noo?’ quod he. And I answered, ‘Noo, parde!’
a1556 N. Udall Ralph Roister Doister (?1566) ii. iv. sig. D.ij,T. Yet can I not yonder craftie boy see nor meete. C. Custane. No?
 
1875 E. King Southern States N. Amer. 479Would we have some more ‘moonshine’? No?
1884 Tennyson Becket v. iii,Does he breathe? No? No, Reginald, he is dead.
1939 ‘N. Blake’ Smiler with Knife ii. 33Had tea? No? Good, I'll see what Mrs. Raikes can rake up.
1967 Crescendo Feb. 26/2Can you find the ‘go to coda’ sign in a hurry? No? Then make it big.
 b. colloq. As a question-tag at the end of a sentence: ‘is that not so?’, ‘am I not correct?’, etc.
Sometimes in representations of the speech of those for whom English is not a first language, corresponding to French n'est-ce pas?, Spanish no?, etc.
1932 L. Golding Magnolia Street i. v. 94He was at one of those big schools, where they all live together. A public school they call it, no?
1946 E. G. Webber Johnny Enzed in Italy 36All this us der merry laugh gives, no?
1975 H. McCutcheon Instrument of Vengeance vii. 123‘I have many interests.’ ‘But no girls?‥ You just love them and leave them, no?’
1998 Independent 2 May i. 15/4The people who make Watchdog and Esther will now also be in charge of all the features at Radio 4—inspires you with confidence, no?
2000 M. Ondaatje Anil's Ghost 26Look—the rubbish here in the halls. This is a hospital, no?
 3. Repeated for the sake of emphasis or earnestness.
In later use in Sc. (in form na, na), as an introductory formula without any direct negation.
α.
a1522 G. Douglas in tr. Virgil Æneid (1957) i. Prol. 24Na, na, nocht sua, bot knele quhen I thame heir.
1594 A. Hume Treat. Conscience iv. 28Na, na, thy intention sall be na releuant defence vnto thee.
1682 A. Peden Lord's Trumpet Sounding 20Na, na, sirs, love to God goes beyond all that.
1786 R. Burns Answer to Trimming Epist. by Tailor x,‘Na, na,’ quo' I, ‘I'm no' for that.’
1829 Scott Guy Mannering (new ed.) I. xxiii. 238‘Had we not better‥dismount?’‥ ‘Na, na,‥we maun cross Dumple at no rate.’
1891 ‘H. Haliburton’ Ochil Idylls 51Na, na, my lad!
1927 J. Buchan Witch Wood xvii. 299Na, na, my lamb, dinna be feared that I'll flyte on ye.
1986 R. A. Jamieson Thin Wealth i. 26Clemmie? Na na, she'll be lang in bed lass.
β.
c1395 Chaucer Franklin's Tale,‘Hastow nat had thy lady as thee liketh?’ ‘No, no,’ quod he and sorwefully he siketh.
1532 (1475) Assembly of Ladies 63 in W. W. Skeat Chaucerian & Other Pieces (1897) 382The povre pensees were not diloged there; No, no! god wot, her place was every-where!
1548 Hall's Vnion: Henry V f. lxiv,No no, I wyll not so accomplishe your cloked request.
1630 T. Dekker Second Pt. Honest Whore ii. i. 93No, no, no, sir, no; I cannot abide to haue money ingender.
1667 Milton Paradise Lost ix. 913Loss of thee Would never from my heart; no no, I feel The Link of Nature draw me.
1720 D. Defoe Mem. Cavalier 74No, no, says he, I took Care of that.
1791 J. Boswell Life Johnson anno 1775 I. 486,I answered, also smiling, ‘No, no, Sir; that will not do.’
1846 Dickens Battle of Life i. 16‘There is not a truer heart than Alfred's in the world!’ ‘No—no,‥perhaps not.’
1939 G. Greene Confid. Agent i. iv. 121No, no, I haven't been in England for nearly eighteen years.
a1983 ‘R. West’ This Real Night (1984) i. ii. 29No, no, there was no question of putting you off.
 4. Introducing a more emphatic or comprehensive negative statement.
no, you don't: see do v.29b.
c1395 Chaucer Clerk's Tale 819,I ne heeld me neuere digne in no manere To be youre wyf. No, ne youre chambrere.
c1450 (1369) Chaucer Bk. Duchess 280No man had the wyt To konne wel my sweven rede; No, not Joseph.
1509 A. Barclay tr. S. Brant Shyp of Folys (Pynson) f. cclviii,No wylde beste: no: nat the myghty bere.
1581 W. Fulke in A. Nowell et al. True Rep. Disput. E. Campion (1584) ii. L iiij b,We are not iustified by them, no nor by faith, otherwise then instrumentally.
1601 P. Holland tr. Pliny Hist. World I. 383There growes nothing in it good to make ointments, no nor nothing throughout all Europe.
1636 P. Heylyn Hist. Sabbath i. iii. 57,I say there was none kept, no nor none commanded.
1720 D. Defoe Mem. Cavalier 144The Scots never appeared, no, not so much as their Scouts.
1775 E. Burke Speech Amer. Taxation 36He never stirred from his ground; no, not an inch.
1819 Keats Otho i. iii. 44No, not a thousand foughten fields could sponge Those days paternal from my memory.
1884 Tennyson Becket Prol.,Thou art but deacon, not yet bishop, No, nor archbishop.
1906 N. Munro Para Handy (1997) i. 4There iss not a rock, no, nor a chuckie stone inside the Cumbrie Head that I do not have a name for.
1991 R. S. Jones Force of Gravity (1992) ii. iv. 185‘No, that's not it,’ Emmet rounded on him. ‘Stop saying that!’
 5. Expressing surprise, incredulity, or dismay in response to a positive statement or to an event.
1880 ‘M. Twain’ Tramp Abroad xxvii. 276‘What hotel are you stopping at?’ ‘Schweitzerhof.’ ‘No! is that so?’
1971 G. Charles Destiny Waltz ii. 32‘Where is his synagogue?’ ‘It used to be in the East End—’ ‘No!’ said Jimmy. ‘I was raised there myself. Whereabouts?’
2001 Games Master Mar. 84/4 (caption)Nooo! Stop her somebody!
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jtdiiijtdiii on May 17th, 2011 04:03 am (UTC)
Who can say "No" to the Oxford English Dictionary?
Ernesto Maldonadoiarroganti on May 17th, 2011 06:35 pm (UTC)
The trick is to learn that 'No' is not a stand-alone syllable, but just the opening to the phrase, "No problem. My apprentice would love to help you with that project." :)
eithni: excellenteithni on May 17th, 2011 07:21 pm (UTC)
Brilliant.
dread_exdread_ex on May 17th, 2011 10:01 pm (UTC)
I wish I could "like" that comment.