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Per Webster's 1913: it was used by "Crabb". w:Crabb. DCDuring TALK 23:18, 11 September 2009 (UTC)

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Appears to be a dictionary word only. It's in a lot of dictionaries, starting with Blount's Glossographia and continuing through the 1913 Webster's and the OED2... but actual usage is nowhere to be found AFAICT. -- Visviva 13:13, 11 September 2009 (UTC)

I found one supporting quotation, though I’m unsure whether it counts as durably archived. This term will probably fail RfV, but I still reckon it should stay, given its persisting presence in lexicographical works for over 350 years. (I argue that point at length on my talk page.) What a great word; it’d be such a shame to see it go.  (u):Raifʻhār (t):Doremítzwr﴿ 19:54, 11 September 2009 (UTC)
I'm quite certain that the quotations represent misuse of the word assuming, of course, that the definition is right. They are not about the process of removing knots from trees but of removing branches. I don't see why anyone would remove the knots (assuming, of course, that "knot" is correctly defined in the entry for it) from a trunk of a tree in the forest. The job would require a drill. --Hekaheka 19:07, 17 September 2009 (UTC)
Allow me an argumentum ad etymologiam, if I may. Abnodate derives from the Latin noun nōdus, which doesn’t just mean knot (be it one in wood or in a rope); it also means knob, bond, obligation, and sticking point (though these latter three senses are abstract, whilst the former three are concrete, and therefore more likely to apply to the case of abnodating trees). It would be best not to think of knots as such, but of nōdī. Judging from the context in which our two quotations from our single citation appear, I’d say that the uses are consistent with the word’s etymological sense. I’ve seen this process before — the machine processes entire tree trunks, removing all protruding offshoots, smoothing the trunk, more or less, into a cylinder, devoid of lumps, knobs, buds, and knotty extrusions. The recorded uses and the etymology are in accord; if you can think of a better way to express that shared sense in our definition, please suggest one. (The OED’s aren’t necessarily perfect; for example, it defines mactate simply as “to kill or slay”, thus neglecting the central sense that the killing be made in sacrifice.)  (u):Raifʻhār (t):Doremítzwr﴿ 21:27, 17 September 2009 (UTC)
It may very well be that the ancient Romans meant many things with nodus, but that's off the point I made. I'm pointing out that it is unlikely that the quotations and the current definition would describe same kind of activity. The quotations are from an unprofessional English translation of an article written by Russian experts in forestry, presumably originally in Russian. --Hekaheka 22:12, 17 September 2009 (UTC)
I wonder how the author found the term. Is there a subculture of forest-product engineers who use Latinate terms colloquially, but not in writing? DCDuring TALK 23:46, 11 September 2009 (UTC)
I haven’t the foggiest; I had to scour the whole of the interwebs to find that one — I ran into an extraordinary number of websites trying to upload spyware to my computer; thank Gawd for AVG is all I’ll say…  (u):Raifʻhār (t):Doremítzwr﴿ 07:17, 12 September 2009 (UTC)
My guess would be that it appears in one or more Russian–English dictionaries, which in turn copied it from one of the various authoritative English dictionaries that have copied it from other dictionaries, in what appears to be an unbroken chain going back to the 17th century. -- Visviva 02:41, 13 September 2009 (UTC)
Why don't we do our bit to be kind to translators and readers and spike this one? In US logging the term seems to be delimb#Verb. DCDuring TALK 03:53, 13 September 2009 (UTC)
I assume you mean spike in its journalistic sense. Delimb is not listed in any other dictionary according to OneLook; moreover, our sole citation therefor uses it in talking about the amputation of the limbs of statues, not of trees (G.B.S. shows that it is also used in speaking of trees, but it is not a specific term for the pruning of trees’ knots). Abnodate, OTOH, is specifically defined as “to prune or cut away knots from Trees” (that’s the Glossographia’s definition, and that’s what it’s continued to mean since 1656), and this is the meaning carried in the word’s etymology, deriving as it does from the Latin noun nōdus (knot”, “knob); furthermore, its derivations, abnodation, abnodated, and abnodating also exclusively carry that restricted meaning. We wouldn’t be “do[ing] our bit to be kind to translators and readers” by “spik[ing] this one”, since it’s a term that has been accepted as a legitimate word (albeit a seldom-used one) for over 350 years. Whereas delimb is only listed here (AFAICT), abnodate, though rare, can be found in Webster’s and the OED — both highly respected lexicographical authorities; the content of those dictionaries (especially Webster’s), because of that authority, is frequently replicated elsewhere, thereby making it globally-accessible (e.g., vide Consequently, authors and translators are fine to use the term, given the ease with which a reader can find a definition for it. Conversely, delimb is defined nowhere and may, I believe, be frowned upon just like debone, deskin, &c. are. (The term’s semantic transparency, admittedly, makes it unlikely that a reader will need to look it up (though it follows from that argument that it is unlikely that it need be defined); it is perhaps precisely because of this semantic transparency that it and many other de–prefixed terms are/would be frowned upon, since for many readers such usage may (rightly or wrongly) imply lazy writing or an impoverished vocabulary.) Please seriously consider the arguments I make in my most recent post here (timestamped 21:33, 10 September 2009). Regards,  (u):Raifʻhār (t):Doremítzwr﴿ 21:00, 14 September 2009 (UTC)
One can frown all one likes when a linguistically impoverished logger or wood-harvesting equipment engineer or salesman uses the term. I wouldn't recommend correcting them, however. DCDuring TALK 21:57, 14 September 2009 (UTC)
How drôle. Do you care to respond without avoiding properly addressing what I wrote?  (u):Raifʻhār (t):Doremítzwr﴿ 23:36, 14 September 2009 (UTC)
This RfV concerns abnodate, which appears unattestable. I'll do my bit for it by using it at the next opportunity. Feel free to propose a change to CFI and to RfV "delimb". DCDuring TALK 23:44, 14 September 2009 (UTC)
Done. I see no need to RfV delimb — it is clearly attestable and seems correctly defined as it is.  (u):Raifʻhār (t):Doremítzwr﴿ 11:10, 15 September 2009 (UTC)
Look, Doremítzwr, in the nicest possible way, the kind of archaic pseudo-English that you speak isn't the English that 99% of English speakers speak. Equinox 23:40, 14 September 2009 (UTC)
Sorry, Equinox, but I don’t see how your point is relevant. (Also, what is there that’s archaic in what I’ve written in this discussion? I’d say that my post timestamped 07:17, 12 September 2009 is the very opposite of archaic…)  (u):Raifʻhār (t):Doremítzwr﴿ 11:10, 15 September 2009 (UTC)

Fails RFV. Mglovesfun (talk) 21:20, 6 January 2010 (UTC)


Adding this for the same reasons as above. B.g.c. again turns up no use, but it does turn up this little snippet, in which Murray, editor of the first volumes of the OED, asks the members of the Philological Society to send in any "bona fide uses". Say what you will about the Philological Society, they were some learned motherf***ersgentlemen. If this was the best they could do, then this term ain't rare, and it ain't obsolete -- it just plain ain't. -- Visviva 05:05, 17 September 2009 (UTC)
Also fails, Mglovesfun (talk) 21:21, 6 January 2010 (UTC)