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    • Join Date: Apr 2007
    • Posts: 14

    Question Special construction

    What is the use of the "-a-" and the "-o-" in the following expressions?:

    Here we come a-caroling


    • Join Date: Oct 2006
    • Posts: 19,434

    Re: Special construction

    Rent-a-car = Rent a car - simply a company title/advertising slogan with hyphens inserted into the sentence.

    green-a-light [this makes no sense to me without more context]

    Chef-o-matic - a typical advertising phrase/logo - it is combining the word "chef" [cook] and an abbreviation of "automatic".

    Here we come a-carolling - archaic : Here we come, singing carols.

    • Join Date: Apr 2007
    • Posts: 14

    Re: Special construction

    The phrase "green-a-light" was taken from a Def leppard Song "Pour Some sugar on me". The whole phrase says "Listen! Red light, yellow light, green-a-light go!"

    In the phrase, "Here we come a-caroling" I thought "a-" was replacing "at"

    Thank you!

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