cant

English has two separate words cant. The older, ‘oblique angle’ [14], originally meant ‘edge’, and appears to have come via Middle Low German kant or Middle Dutch cant, both meaning ‘edge’ or ‘corner’, from Vulgar Latin *canto, a descendant of Latin cantus ‘iron tyre’. which was probably of Celtic origin (Welsh cant means ‘rim’). The accusative case of the Vulgar Latin word, *cantōnem, was the source of English canton [16], originally ‘corner, section’, now ‘territorial division’; while its Italian descendant, canto, may be the source of Italian cantina ‘cellar’, from which English got canteen [18]. Cant ‘thieves’ jargon’ or ‘hypocritical talk’ [16] was probably originally a specific application of the Latin verb cantāre ‘sing’ (source also of English chant, canto, cantor, cantata, and canticle). It is usually assumed that the usage derives from an ironic transference of the singing of church congregations or choirs to the wheedling ‘song’ of beggars and (by association) thieves. => CANTEEN, CANTON; CANTATA, CANTOR, CHANT

The Hutchinson dictionary of word origins. 2013.

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  • Cant — or canting may refer to:*Empty, hypocritical talk See [http://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/cant wiktionary article] *Cant (language), a secret language **Thieves cant **Shelta language or the Cant, a language used by the Irish Travellers *Cant… …   Wikipedia

  • cant — CANT, canturi, s.n. 1. Muchie, latură a unor obiecte. 2. Parte a copertei de carton care depăşeşte dimensiunile filelor unei cărţi legate, ale unui caiet sau ale unui registru. 3. Margine, muchie a suprafeţei de alunecare a schiurilor. – Din germ …   Dicționar Român

  • Cant — Cant, n. [OF., edge, angle, prof. from L. canthus the iron ring round a carriage wheel, a wheel, Gr. ? the corner of the eye, the felly of a wheel; cf. W. cant the stake or tire of a wheel. Cf. {Canthus}, {Canton}, {Cantle}.] 1. A corner; angle;… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Cant — Cant, v. t. [imp. & p. p. {Canted}; p. pr. & vb. n. {Canting}.] 1. To incline; to set at an angle; to tilt over; to tip upon the edge; as, to cant a cask; to cant a ship. [1913 Webster] 2. To give a sudden turn or new direction to; as, to cant… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • cânt — CÂNT, cânturi, s.n. 1. Cântare, cântec; ciripit de păsări. 2. Poezie (însoţită uneori de melodie). 3. Parte, diviziune a unui poem epic. – Din cânta (derivat regresiv). Trimis de valeriu, 03.03.2003. Sursa: DEX 98  CÂNT s. 1. cântare, cântat,… …   Dicționar Român

  • cant — cant1 [kant] n. [< L cantus: see CHANT] 1. whining, singsong speech, esp. as used by beggars 2. the secret slang of beggars, thieves, etc.; argot 3. the special words and phrases used by those in a certain sect, occupation, etc.; jargon 4.… …   English World dictionary

  • Cant — Cant, n. [Prob. from OF. cant, F. chant, singing, in allusion to the singing or whining tine of voice used by beggars, fr. L. cantus. See {Chant}.] 1. An affected, singsong mode of speaking. [1913 Webster] 2. The idioms and peculiarities of… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Cant — Cant, a. Of the nature of cant; affected; vulgar. [1913 Webster] To introduce and multiply cant words in the most ruinous corruption in any language. Swift. [1913 Webster] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Cant — Cant, n. [Prob. from OF. cant, equiv. to L. quantum; cf. F. encan, fr. L. in quantum, i.e. for how much? ] A call for bidders at a public sale; an auction. To sell their leases by cant. Swift. [1913 Webster] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • cant — Ⅰ. cant [1] ► NOUN 1) hypocritical and sanctimonious talk. 2) derogatory language peculiar to a specified group. 3) (before another noun ) denoting a phrase or catchword temporarily current: a cant word. ► VERB dated ▪ talk hypocritically and… …   English terms dictionary

  • Cant — Cant, v. i. 1. To speak in a whining voice, or an affected, singsong tone. [1913 Webster] 2. To make whining pretensions to goodness; to talk with an affectation of religion, philanthropy, etc.; to practice hypocrisy; as, a canting fanatic. [1913 …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

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