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Can one say “Bemartyred”? I am translating the name of an ancient Mesopotamian myth who is sacrificed for growth and rebirth of nature and in there was ceremny in which he was annually killed or “martyred”. I have once seen the word, “Beknighted” and though it could be made so for martyr as well if it doesn’t already exist.

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sorry I miss spelled, I meant "Benighted".

goossun May 10, 2004, 5:02am

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Goossun, "martyred" is sufficient in this case.

The use of "be-" as a prefix is obsolete--though many words that use it (bedaubed, besprinkled, etc.) still survive. In most cases the word also exists without the "be-" prefix, so it's also correct in the two cases just mentioned to say "daubed" or "sprinkled." For example:

"The child's smock was bedaubed (or daubed)with finger paints."
"The cupcakes were besprinkled (or sprinkled) with colored sugar."

speedwell2 May 10, 2004, 6:15am

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Being obsolete is actually helpfulin this case, I think. It gives a hint of the ansient and archaic taste as the word has it originaly. But I must make sure if using "be-" is not wrong. If so, "bemartyred" sounds better to me.

*Yet I think there are some cases that you can't just drop the "be-" like "besieged", am I not right?

goossun May 10, 2004, 1:25pm

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Yes, that's right... "benighted," "besieged," "bewitched," and "belabored" are all examples of words that you can't remove the "be-" prefix from.

But the "be-" prefix is no longer used, except facetiously (just for fun).

speedwell2 May 11, 2004, 5:14am

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I'm not making myself clear. What I mean is that in modern times words are no longer formed by adding "be-" to them.

speedwell2 May 11, 2004, 5:15am

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I'm sorry speedwell, but I just don't get when this "modern times" are! You agree that the words mention "below" are still used, so what does "in modern times words are no longer formed by adding "be-" to them" mean?
Do you mean we do not make new ones?
BBC has just one today; "Beheaded":
They could as well say "decapitated", right?

goossun May 11, 2004, 1:51pm

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By the way, could you give some example of the facetious use of "be-"?

goossun May 11, 2004, 1:53pm

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Boy, I am doing badly on this, aren't I.

"Beheaded" is another word that is a survival from the time when "be-" was commonly used as a prefix. We don't make words in this way anymore, but we still use the ones that exist.

Facetious? OK... well... last week my partner's little niece got into the cupboard somehow and pulled a box of cocoa over herself, then tried to lick most of it off. (True story.) When her mother found her, she was pretty well "bechocolated."

speedwell2 May 12, 2004, 3:59am

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In to my surprise I found this word that we use every day: Become!

goossun June 22, 2004, 5:39pm

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