Outsmart the Badgers

Another couple words I like today! One sneaked in at the last minute; I discovered it a second ago whilst looking for something else!

I just love to pronounce this first one: “superruzi”. It’s pronounced “soo-pehr-ROO-zee” (IPA: super’ruzi). Remember to trill those “r”s and pronounce them as two distinct “r”s! Pronounce every letter in Esperanto words! If you find this a smidgin troubleful, try pronouncing separately the components “super” then “ruzi” and speed up as you get used to it!

It means “to outsmart/outwit”. “Ruzi”‘s definition on Lernu.net gives “to deal subtly, dodge, shuffle, to be cunning, tricky”. And “super” is like “over, above”. In verb form “superi” is like “to exceed/surpass”. And RetaVortaro explains “superruzi” as “superi per ruzo”: “to surpass by means of subterfuge/trickery/cunning”. Pretty cool construction too really!

Ni superruzos la melojn!

Next, I just like the construction of this word: “Aliiĝi”. Okay… I kinda like the overabundance of “i”s too :D. It’s pronounced “al-ee-EE-jee” (IPA: ali’idʒi).

It means “to change/alter”.

It’s talking about the subject altering. e.g.

  • hieraŭ, mi aliiĝis = yesterday, I changed (as in, it was me that changed)

You can’t use it to say “I altered the colours” (that would be “aliigi”!). This is clear in its literal meaning:

  • It’s made from “alia” = “another/other”; “alio” is like “something else”.
  • The ending “iĝ” is like “to become <root>”.
  • So “aliiĝi” means “to become something else”.

So using it to say “I altered the colours” will actually come out as “I became something else… the colours” HUH? Because no matter what object (e.g. colours) you try to tack onto it, “aliiĝi” is always referring to the subject as being the thing that changes.

The suffix “ig” means “to cause <root>”, so “aliigi” is like “to cause to be something else”. See why you’d use this word instead to alter the colours?

Ĝis!

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7 thoughts on “Outsmart the Badgers

    • Ah, yes indeedy! much like the English, “yesterday, I changed…” the phrase does make you want to finish “… in to what?” in order to complete the expression!

      But just to be clear to any others reading, in the example given above (awesome example btw):

      “hieraŭ mi aliiĝis en melon ĉar oni hipnotigis min”

      “melon” is not a direct object. “Aliigxi” is still being used intransitively here. The accusative “n” after a positional preposition like “in”, “on” or “under” (en,sur,sub), shows direction/motion in that way:

      en melo = in a badger
      en melon = into a badger

      So “mi aliiĝis en melon” = “I changed into a badger”

      Notice how we aren’t changing a badger, that’s what tells you we’re still using the verb intransitively!

  1. As you point out, it doesn’t make for this word to have object but it seems incomplete in most case with a following phrase, right? E.g.

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