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Picture of Kalleh
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Have you heard of/used keen as a verb? I have not, and wondered if I just hadn't come across it - or - if it is more a British use as certainly the adjective is. This was the sentence in a book I am reading: "Maria stood in the hallway kneading her skirt in her hands and keening bitterly." She had lost all her belongings.
 
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Picture of BobHale
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It's not an everyday word but I've seen it often enough in literature.


"No man but a blockhead ever wrote except for money." Samuel Johnson.
 
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Picture of bethree5
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a powerful word, perhaps more so because we don't come across it that often (which is appropriate).
 
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Yep, I've seen and heard it.
 
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Picture of Kalleh
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So, Geoff, you've heard it and seen it used like that? Interesting, because I never have.
 
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Picture of arnie
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The two meanings have totally different origins. The verb comes from the Irish caoinim "I weep, wail, lament" whereas the adjective is from Old English cene "bold, brave". See http://www.etymonline.com/inde...n&allowed_in_frame=0


Build a man a fire and he's warm for a day. Set a man on fire and he's warm for the rest of his life.
 
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Picture of zmježd
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It's right up there with ullulating. Mostly read it in literature.


Ceci n'est pas un seing.
 
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So, Z, have ululately? Big Grin

Good to see you here again! It gets lonely without you.
 
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Picture of Kalleh
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That's a great word, too! I wonder why some words are used more in literature than in everyday talk, be it formal or informal. This book that I was reading was published in 2014, so it wasn't old.

Arnie, thanks for the explanation. Otherwise it just didn't make sense.
 
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