Louis Proyect lnp3 at
Thu Dec 16 08:07:34 MST 1999

>THAT'S why I am rebarbative.

Oxford Dictionary


[a. Fr. rébarbatif, -ive (14th c.), f. barbe beard.]


1892: Sat. Rev. 12 Nov. 571/1 It is not very clear why Sir Robert
Coke..bestows so much trouble and time on this very rebarbative lady.

1927: Observer 1 May 20 The small minority that is not put off by the dry
and rebarbative quality of the tuition.

1946: Beerbohm Mainly on Air 67 Even A. B. Walkley..found Ibsen rather

1958: I. Murdoch Bell iv. 48 Still, everyone appeared to be extremely nice,
except that that Dr. Greenfield man was a trifle rebarbative. (This was a
word which Toby had recently learnt at school and could not now conceive of
doing without.)

1958: J. Press Chequer'd Shade i. 12 Unless he commands sufficient poetic
authority to compel the general acceptance of his minted coinage his work
will inevitably be judged rebarbative and obscure.

1963: Listener 7 Mar. 436/1 Some rebarbative club member does seem to have
opened one or two windows in the smoking-room.

1971: P. D. James Shroud for Nightingale iii. 63 Her face matched her
personality, rebarbative and defensive.

1976: Gramophone Aug. 266/1 An accessible musical language can be equally
deceptive and pose as many (though of course different) problems as an
entirely novel and rebarbative idiom.

Hence rebarbatively adv.; rebarbativeness; rebarbativity.

1947: I. Brown Say Word 102 Is Max our only dealer in rebarbativity?

1966: Punch 16 Nov. 754/3 A veritable drummer boy, all knobbly North
Country rebarbativeness and almost incomprehensible obsolete dialect.

1968: I. Murdoch Nice & Good vii. 57 Beyond Uncle Theo were some alien
holiday-makers, of whom this part of the beach happily attracted few,
because of its rebarbatively stony nature.

1975: M. Amis Dead Babies lvii. 214 During the Americans' twenty-minute
absence from the sitting-room Celia joined in her husband's wholly
successful attempt to moderate Roxeanne's rebarbativeness to the odd aside.

1976: Listener 22 Apr. 495/1 A rejection of formal logic and with it of a
rebarbatively technical foundation and medium for philosophical thinking.

Louis Proyect

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