Though William Shakespeare often gets credit for coining the word tosspot, its first recorded use was in 1568, when Shakespeare was a mere four years old. The word means a lush, a drunkard or fool & hearkens back to the day when folk drank their ale or mead from pots. It seems a tosspot tossed back his or her pot, and was known for doing so a little too often.
A short time ago I ran into a second, more delicious usage of tosspot in the comments section of Anu Garg’s amazing AWAD (A Word A Day) listserv, in which Gregory M. Harris mentions the phenomenon of the tosspot word. Other than a referral back to his AWAD comment at Librarian’s Muse, I can find no other reference to this second meaning. Is the distinction real or imagined?
The proposed term tosspot word refers to the phenomenon of a compound word built of a verb, then a noun, in that order. Some examples include:
Big thanks to Gregory M. Harris who made the AWAD comment that got me interested in this phenomenon & inspired some happy pondering.
Should we embrace the existence of the tosspot word? Please use the comments section to vote yay or nay, or to lengthen the list, or to argue for why a word on the list doesn’t belong there, or...