Neologisms in the House.

Baroness Murphy

I was listening to Lord McKenzie of Luton explaining his second amendment in the National Insurance Contributions Bill today…he has a lovely soothing manner and always speaks plainly and well (although Lord Newby from the Lib Dems rather took the wind out of his sails and the amendment was lost at the vote). But Lord McK suddenly used a word I don’t think exists. He said he was “caveatting”…ughhhh, can’t wait to see if Hansard turns it into a noun.

11 comments for “Neologisms in the House.

  1. 14/03/2011 at 10:22 pm

    One of the glorious things about English is the flexibility that it gives to a speaker, and the almost endless way that you can mix and match to create an entirely new, functional word out of parts of old ones.

    Some words annoy me, but I’m a purist of form rather than of tradition when it comes to language. “Caveating” strikes me as one of those words that does a job — I’m sure you knew precisely what he meant — and fills a lexical hole that no smaller or more clear word or phrase was available to fill. New word it may be, but worth inventing.

  2. 14/03/2011 at 10:24 pm

    Although we should probably agree on a spelling. I prefer my choice of one t to your double t. A second t seems unnecessary. Perhaps we can ask Lord McKenzie for his notes so that we can see how he spelled it?

  3. Carl.H
    15/03/2011 at 9:01 am

    Nearest I could find:


    Ca”ve*a`ting\, n. (Fencing) Shifting the sword from one side of an adversary’s sword to the other.”

  4. MilesJSD
    15/03/2011 at 11:13 am

    Your so obviously crude and ad misericordium term “ughhhh”, does not exist, neither, Baroness Murphy.

    Please come into the real and wholesomely-alive human-world;
    please do, otherwise you are wasting our precious democratic time-frames, -slots, and -slits here.

    The escalating human need here is communicativity,

    which as an all-kinds-of-peoples’ expert advocate and representative, should have been cottoned-onto by your “noble” (“no-bull”) self.

    Have you ever creamed (butter and sugar)? Fielded (a hard ball or a team)?

    “Caveatting” (to one of my neighbours who has not even one subject at GCSE level) simply means “making a caveat” “following a caveat” or “being in amongst caveats”: it is a sketch- or snapshot- word, like onomatopoeic words, in a similar common-sense intention.

    ‘Fraid you’ve messed up your own value-system (…

    I give way …

    We are appalled that you at our Upper governance expertise level should have less courtesy than for instance road-users honouring the Highway Code.

  5. Baroness Murphy
    Baroness Murphy
    15/03/2011 at 11:14 am

    Hansard reported it as caveating with one ‘t’. McDuff, Yes, I did understand what he meant. I guess this new word has been dictionarised. Carl H, that’s a fascinating new meaning, definitely not what Lord McK was doing.

  6. 15/03/2011 at 3:35 pm

    Apparently “caveat” comes from Latin where it is indeed a verb. (Oxford and Chambers both agree on this.)

    Wiktionary also gives this usage in English:

    • Tim
      15/03/2011 at 10:31 pm

      Yes, but it’s a verb in latin meaning something along the lines of “let him beware” (as in caveat emptor), rather than meaning anything along the right lines.

  7. MilesJSD
    15/03/2011 at 11:42 pm

    Baroness, then why have you not told us what you understood the noble Lord McKenzie to mean ?

    I must opine that, in both egoistically-personal and politically-deceptive infringement of all three basic principles of honest communication & argumentation*, you are stringing us all along (“fill-in-blustering”);

    when you should be saying simply “caveo” of both the words spoken in the House, of your own ill-disciplined manipulation of the Public by your inflations upon them, and of the commenters herein on the e-site;
    & of the burgeoning wider Public once they get to hear\about this kind of thing you are a salutary perpetraitor of;

    because thanks only to Jonathan, we can now see that Lord McKenzie was saying

    “I am ‘he may beware of’ -ing”

  8. MilesJSD
    15/03/2011 at 11:56 pm

    “I am ‘he may beware of’ -ing”.

    * The three basic principles of honest communication and argumentation:
    1. Be clear, in what you say (Clarity);
    2. Be charitable, towards Others’ intended-meanings in what they have said (Charity);
    3. Be self-correcting, where something you have said is shown by another to be wrong or inadequate (Self-Corrigibility).

  9. MilesJSD
    16/03/2011 at 12:11 am

    Whilst the baroness indicated that the noble Lord McKenzie’s “sails” had been caused to cave-in ((by the (equally noble ?) Lord Newby))

    I think that the Carl H-researched term about sword-fencing appears to rings a ball-park bell here too (-ting);
    Baroness Murphy should beware, and be aware that “caveatting” could be intended to mean “I am continuing the contest”.

    Yet I am with McDuff in wanting to ask Lord McKenzie to come on-stage and tell us what he actually meant.

  10. 17/03/2011 at 10:23 pm

    This post is mentioned in today’s Evening Standard! (Diary, p.17)

Comments are closed.