Thursday, May 7, 2009

Reduplicative

Here's a grammar term I didn't know until a minute ago:

reduplicative (n. & adj.) (A compound word) having two identical or
very similar parts, often rhyming. (Sometimes called iterative.)

Most reduplicatives are fairly informal, e.g.

goody-goody (M19) hugger-mugger (E16)
happy-clappy (L20) wishy-washy (E18)
harum-scarum (L17)

Source: "reduplicative" in The Oxford Dictionary of English Grammar.
Sylvia Chalker and Edmund Weiner. Oxford University Press, 1998.