(in a discussion of the word "scroop", which refers to sounds of rubbing made by certain fabrics, especially against skin; pantyhose is one example): >: Recently the word "strident" came to mind... not exactly what I was >: looking for, because "strident" is an adjective and "scroop" is a noun. >: Near it in Websters 7th New Collegiate is the word "stridulate", meaning >: "to make a shrill creaking noise by rubbing together special bodily >: structures -- used especially of male insects (as crickets and >: grasshoppers)". That seems exactly parallel: crickets rubbing their >: legs together vs. people rubbing their (clothed) legs together. >: >: What form of the word would describe the quality? Stridulence? > >The noun for the action is either "stridulation" or "stridor". > >"Stridor" is a great word for the sound of corduroy, especially >whilst striding. I think it's too high-pitched for pantyhose, though. I agree, the high vowel in "stridulence" sounds too high-pitched, and I think "stridor" is too strange -- for one thing, who needs another word in English where the vowel could be pronounced either long or short from the spelling? I don't know whether the word is supposed to be pronounced with /I/ or /ay/, and I can't be bothered to look it up if it isn't obvious. Too much trouble for a candidate word to make. "Stridulation" is the activity, we want the propensity, right? Why not go for an adjective and let the nouns fall where they may? We can always derive a noun if we have a good adjective, and adjectives describe qualities and propensities better than nouns. A modest proposal: how about "striddly"? Striddly jeans you got on there, pardner. Been out West long? Getting a wee bit striddly, are we, darling? Back to the Stairmaster! I don't buy those anymore; they get all striddly when you wash them. Derivation of the associated noun is left as an exercise for the reader. -------------------------------------------- -John Lawler More grammar Linguistics Program University of Michigan "..and, who knows? Maybe the horse will sing."