Compounds Like Backyard and Popcorn — and Others
1. You have seen that compound words like raindrop, flowerpot, and catbird shorten phrases that contain words like of, for, and like: “a drop of rain,” “apot for flowers,” “a bird like a cat.” Other compounds shorten phrases that contain other words:
A backyard is a yard in the back.
A farmhouse is a house on a farm.
A seashell is a shell from the sea.
Fill in the blanks:
Soil at the top is topsoil .
A house with a light is a lighthouse .
A step to the side is a sidestep .
A spot on the sun is a sunspot .
Light from the moon moonlight .
An ache in your head is a headache .
2. Now try some the other way around:
A sunburn is a burn from the sun .
A headlight is a light at the head .
An eardrum is a drum in the ear .
A tabletop is the top of a table .
A sailboat is a boat with a sail .
A sidewalk is a walk along the side .
3. The following compounds shorten phrases like those with which you have been working. But some of them contain words with which you haven't yet worked. See how you can do at analyzing the compounds to show the phrases they shorten:
A dogfight is a a fight between (or among) dogs .
An eyebrow is a brow over the eye .
Backspin is spin toward the back .
A churchyard is a yard outside a church .
A campfire is a fire at a camp .
A middleman is a man in the middle .
Rainwater is water from the rain .
4. The compound popcorn shortens the phrase “corn that pops.” The following compounds follow that same pattern. Fill in the blanks:
A dog that watches is a watchdog .
A table that turns is a turntable .
A worm that glows is a glowworm .
A torch that blows is a blowtorch .
A line that guides is a guideline .
A man who works is a workman .
5. Now try these slightly different ones:
When the earth quakes, it's an earthquake .
When a tooth aches, it's a toothache .
When your nose bleeds, it's a nosebleed .
When your heart beats, it's a heartbeat .
When some land slides, it's a landslide .
When day breaks, it's daybreak .
When a snake bites, it's a snakebite .
Word Venn. Inside circle A put only words containing the sound [r]. Inside circle B putonly words containing the sound [l]:
Teaching Notes. This lesson on compounds, like the two earlier ones (2:13 and 2:14)provide work with prepositions like of, for, with, and so on. If your curriculum includes work with grammatical parts of speech, these lessons could tie in well with work with prepositions and prepositional phrases.
Our heavy use of compound words reflects the even heavier use made of them in Old English. We have lost some wonderful old compounds, which have been replaced by usually French or Latin adoptions:a¯þwedd “oath-promise, vow”, bo¯chord “book-hoard,library,” de¯orwurþe “dear-worth, precious,” galdorcræft “incantation-skill, magic.” (The symbol <þ> is thorn, which in Old English was used to represent [th] and [th].)
Items 2 and 3.There is room for honest difference of opinion here.