Huge - Hard to Say

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The word huge is a hard word to spell and to pronounce. In this lesson I’ll tell you what huge means, show you how to pronounce it with a standard British English accent, and give you some examples of its use. I’ll also look at other vocabulary of size adjectives such as colossal, diddy, diminutive, enormous, gigantic, ginormous, huge, immense, large, lilliputian, mammoth, massive, mega, microscopic, mini, minute, petite, prodigious, puny, teeny, tiddly, tiny, titanic, and vast. You can also practice your knowledge of the IPA symbols and pronunciation with some IPA transcriptions of these size adjectives.

From the OED:

huge, a. (adv.) (hjuːdʒ) 

Forms: 3– huge; also 4–5 hoge, heug(e, 5–6 houge, 5–7 hudge, (4 hogge, hug, hughe, 5 hugge, howge, hogh(e, hoege, 6 houdge, hewge, hoouge). 

[ME. huge, hoge, app. aphetic f. OF. ahuge, ahoge, ahoege, in same sense, of unknown origin. 

   It is, however, noteworthy that no connecting link in the form of huge in OFr., or ahuge in early ME., has as yet been found.] 

1.1 Very great, large, or big; immense, enormous, vast. a.1.a Of things material or of spatial extent. 

   a 1275 Prov. Ælfred 709 in O.E. Misc. 138 Þuru þis lore and genteleri he amendit huge companie.    c 1330 R. Brunne Chron. (1810) 31 He brouht with him a deuelle, a hogge Geant.    13‥ Gaw. & Gr. Knt. 743 Of hore okez ful hoge a hundreth to-geder.    1390 Gower Conf. I. 236 He‥made an hughe fire.    1480 Caxton Chron. Eng. ccxxvi. 231 A ful houge and boystous meyne of dyuerse nacions.    1581 Marbeck Bk. of Notes 343 The waues of the hudge floude.    1634 Sir T. Herbert Trav. 212 Fishes are in huge numbers here.    1791 Cowper Iliad vii. 246 So moved huge Ajax to the fight.    1832 G. Downes Lett. Cont. Countries I. 373 Naples is huge, and populous.    1890 Swinburne Stud. Prose & Poetry 221 The huge fireplace with its dragon-like dogs.

b.1.b Of things immaterial. 

   13‥ E.E. Allit. P. B. 1659 He hade so huge an insyȝt to his aune dedes.    c 1375 Sc. Leg. Saints, Margaret 671 A gret hug thonir com but bad.    1377 Langl. P. Pl. B. xi. 242 Martha on Marye magdeleyne an huge pleynte she made.    c 1450 Mirour Saluacioun 346 For hoege luf yt he shuld noght hire greue.    1529 More Comf. agst. Trib. iii. Wks. 1259/1 How woonderfull houge and gret those spirituall heauenly ioyes are.    1680 Allen Peace & Unity Pref. 3 The Peace‥of the Church is a matter of that huge moment, that [etc.].    1834 Medwin Angler in Wales I. 143 [He] took a huge fancy to the wench.    1877 Dowden Shaks. Prim. vi. 135 His affliction serves as a measure of the huger affliction of the King.

c.1.c transf. Of persons in reference to their actions or attributes: Of very great power, rank, possessions, capabilities, etc. 

   c 1400 Destr. Troy 3924 Hoger of hert and of her wille, He demenyt well his maners, & be mesure wroght.    1430–40 Lydg. Bochas vi. iii. (1554) 150 b, The great Duke so mightie and so huge.    c 1470 Henry Wallace xi. 29 Off Glosyster that huge lord and her.    1858 Carlyle Fredk. Gt. ii. xi. I. 116 An only child, the last of a line: hugest Heiress now going.

†2.2 Very great in number, very numerous. rare. 

   1570 Satir. Poems Reform. xix. 89 Hudge is ȝour fais within this fals Regioun.

†3.3 Phr. in huge: hugely, vastly, extensively. (Cf. at large.) Obs. rare. 

   1584 Hudson Du Bartas' Judith. i. 101 More than euer Rome could comprehend, In huge of learned books that they ypend.

4.4 Comb. Parasynthetic, as huge-armed, huge-bellied, huge-bodied, huge-boned, huge-built, huge-grown, huge-horned, huge-limbed, huge-proportioned, huge-tongued, etc. adjs. 

   1599 Marston Sco. Villanie ii. vi. 201 Huge-tongu'd Pigmy brats.    1612 Drayton Poly-olbion xiii. (R.), Many a huge-grown wood.    1624 Milton Ps. cxiv. 11 The high hugebellied mountains skip like rams.    1808 Scott Marm. v. xv, Huge-boned, and tall and grim, and gaunt.    1877 Bryant Lit. People of Snow 122 Huge-limbed men.

†B.B adv. Hugely, immensely. Obs. 

   1450–70 Golagros & Gaw. 498 Yone house is sa huge hie.    1631 Weever Anc. Fun. Mon. 11 Tombes are made so huge great, that they take vp the Church.    1674 N. Fairfax Bulk & Selv. To Rdr., Lessenings of them, who have done huge well.    1679 T. Puller Moder. Ch. Eng. (1843) 290 Many are huge concerned to shift off the conviction of this truth.

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