One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
1usually as noun kerningAdjust the spacing between (characters) in a piece of text to be printed.‘there was not facility for accurate kerning on a global basis’
- ‘You know the arguments over the superscript, the kerning, the proportional spacing.’
- ‘The typesetting shows problems as well, and the kerning and word-spacing in some lines is so awkward as to render the line almost unreadable.’
- ‘Cease any talk of font analysis, kerning, superscripts or anything else of a typographical nature.’
- ‘Although, I am pleased and happily surprised that words like superscript, subscript, proportionally spaced fonts, kerning, etc. are being used in the mainstream media, I don't believe anyone is really listening.’
2Provide (metal type or a printed character) with a kern.‘sometimes display type is kerned’
The part of a metal type projecting beyond the body or shank, or a part of a printed character that overlaps its neighbours.
Late 17th century: perhaps from French carne ‘corner’, from Latin cardo, cardin- ‘hinge’.
1historical A light-armed Irish foot soldier.
- ‘Recruiting large numbers of Gaelic kern, they then invaded England, landing at Furness in Lancashire, and immediately made for Richard III's old power base in north Yorkshire.’
- ‘An armed company of the kerne, carrying halberds and pikes and led by a piper, attack and burn a farmhouse and drive off the horses and cattle.’
- ‘Composition involved, in Gaelic parts, the commutation of the chief's right to take up supplies for his household and quarter his kerne and galloglass on his subjects for defence.’
- ‘The crude unsigned illustrations depict the activities of the Irish kern, while the refined signed cuts offer images of a resplendent English contingent led by Sir Henry Sidney in the name of the Queen.’
2archaic A peasant; a rustic.bumpkin, country bumpkin, country cousin, rustic, countryman, countrywoman, country dweller, daughter of the soil, son of the soil, peasant, provincial, oaf, lout, boor, barbarianView synonyms
Late Middle English: from Irish ceithearn, from Old Irish ceithern ‘band of foot soldiers’.
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