Auterrific?

What does that mean?

Alrighty, I’m going to cover this again and put it under Adrenaline for easy access from now on.

During my attendance at the University of Texas in 1996, I took a class called Greek and Latin Origins of Medical Terminology. The class included prefixes, base components and suffixes of words commonly found in the field of medicine.

I took a particular liking to the prefix AUT (which means self). Shortly thereafter, I needed to come up with an email address for changes that were occurring with the compuer system on campus. I decided to add the word TERRIFIC (which means either extraordinary or terrifying) to AUT. I thought that the combination was an interesting dichotomy of human nature (I.e. self-extraordinary or self-terrifying).

However, my husband (the science whiz) thought he had it figured out when we first exchanged emails. Several months into our relationship, I had been wondering why he never asked what it meant. I finally asked him one day why he hadn’t questioned me about the name. He said, “I know what it means. Terrific Gold…exactly what I’ve found.” (In chemistry, AU is the chemical symbol for gold.) Sweet, huh?

There you go.

8 thoughts on “Auterrific?

  1. Being a linguist student (and in particular i get to look at morphology) I have to know about affixation of all kinds, be they prefixes, suffixes, circumfixes or interfixes! Yours however is high up on the favourite lists, and I hope you don’t mind if i use it as a good example of modern affixation in my next assignment πŸ™‚

    I’ll give you full credit of course πŸ™‚

    AxXx

  2. That’s an interesting definition too, Daniel. It’s so funny that people who don’t ask about it, just come up with whatever seems reasonable to them. I was questioned about it again via email, so I thought I’d post it permanently this time.

    AxXx – that is so cool! You may use me in your next assignment. I would love to see a copy of the completed assignment too, if you don’t mind.

  3. of course i won’t mind! I won’t have to do another one until about december though (it’s exams then holidays for us at the mo!) but if you get a random e-mail around january time then you’ll know why!

    AxXx

  4. huh… πŸ™‚ I always thought that it was a sort of sarcastic way of saying, “Oh, terrific…” As in, “OH, terrific, that guy just ran over my foot.”

  5. Heh…ever since I found your site a few weeks ago, I had assumed that the AU was for “gold,” too. Gold Terrific! I appreciate your rationale for the name, too — nifty.

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