Wednesday, 16 December 2009

What does the word Quasi mean? Origin , definition and example


What does the word quasi mean?
One often hears reference to quasi this and quasi that. What does it really mean and where does the word come from?
Firstly, quasi is from Latin, meaning “as if” or “almost”.
Used as a prefix, as in quasi – government, quasi-cuisine, quasi-this, quasi-that and virtually quasi-anything.
Most references in dictionaries define quasi with the following words: -
Like, likeness
As if,
Resembling
Similar
Semi
Possesses certain characteristics or attributes of…
As if it were.
Lets use quasi-Italian food as an example. Per definition this means that it is not the real thing, so to speak. So, it is not a genuine Italian dish, but is similar or has certain characteristics of an Italian dish. Maybe non-traditional ingredients have been added, or left out, or food prepared in a different manner. In other words one could say it was not the real thing, but close enough to bear a good resemblance.
Many, many references to a quasi-contract, and I am not going into things legal now. A quasi contract appears to be a binding contract that is invoked in instances where there is no consensus between the parties of an agreement. Suggest you dig around a bit if you want more information on this one. The concept appears straightforward, but the application would be interesting reading.
If you buy an imitation Rolex watch for a couple of bucks, would it be a quasi-Rolex? According to the definitions it would be, as the criteria mentioned above have been met.
So, a quasi Nike sneaker would be a fake sneaker? One could make this argument, but a quasi-friend would not be a fake friend, rather than a not so deep friend, as in platonic
Food for though… but I am digging a hole for myself here.

5 comments:

refugee from reason said...

Just browsed through your venue and it's wonderful. Perhaps you're a latter day Bill Saffire. All the best.
/refugeefromreason

Steve Hayes said...

Shall we meet at your quango or mine?

refugee from reason said...

To loosely quote Groucho, ""I would not join any organization that would have me as a member"

www.refugeefromreason.com

Karthik Narayan said...

Fantastic blog dude... i am interested in etymology and trivia maybe we can cook up some nice stuff together?

Family W said...

So pretty much, the quasi-nike sneaker would just be a Nike-wanna-be sneaker? :-) Good post.