Tuesday, December 4, 2012


Meaning: a Scottish verb meaning to conform, or to be in harmony with; both meanings are extended from its original sense of squaring, as in numbers.

Usefulness: 1 ("Emoticons are not for me; I shall not quader to their laziness." "Of course, hipsters quader as much as the rest of us, but to rather different rules. Boundaries of a negative space - trenchant non-conformism;  or a positive space - a codified sub-culture; are still boundaries.")

Logofascination: 1 (It originates from quadrate, a fancy Latin way of saying square, although the qu- in square is also from the Latin quad-, four, the base of all these words. And, it turns out, cadre, which is what quader started to sound like after I'd said it to myself a few too many times.  I also quite like the fact that squares were associated with conforming in Scotland in the 16th and 17th century, and in the US in the 1940's.)

In the wild: I was asked to find an alternative verb for conforming, et voila. One of my favourite features of the OED (online access available through many libraries; mine is thanks to the very lovely SLV) is the ability to search for a word in definitions or etymologies.  For the record, there are 134 words which include 'conform' in their definition.

Degrees: 2 (Sir Thomas may well have known this word, given its provenance, but in his writing he either used more formal Latin or words he'd invented.)

Connections: quader - quadrified

Which is used in: Trissotetras, in the Lexicidion:
Powered, squared, quadrified 
Powered is Sir Thomas' synonym for squared, which suggests that quadrified (despite not making the OED) was already in use elsewhere. 

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