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Mark J. Reed wrote:
> Round these here parts, "compost" is /'kOm.post/ and "provost" is
> /'pro.vOst/.  Obviously YPMV.
> 
>>> I keep thinking there's a word I know of that ends in -most but which
>>> doesn't actually come from compounding with the word most, but I
>>> can't seem to think what it is. (As I recall, it originally ended in -
>>> mest, which consisted of the final -m of the root and the superlative
>>> morpheme -est, but was later remodeled by analogy to <most>.)
>>>
>> How about "utmost"?
> 
> No, the "most" in "utmost" feels like the same morpheme as the word
> "most".  Although I don't know what the ut- is.  Shortened from
> "ultimate" or something?

I doubt it --- "Ultimate" is Latin whereas "most" is and "utmost" feels
Germanic. My intuition is that "ut" represents "out", and indeed
dictionary.com says it's < ME utmest < OE u:tmest, "See OUT, -MOST". As
for -most, it says: [Origin: ME -most; r. ME, OE -mest, double superl.
suffix, equiv. to -ma superl. suffix (as in OE _forma_ first; cf. L
_prīmus_) + -EST; later identified with MOST]

So this makes it sounds like lots of -most words, including "utmost" are
exactly what you thought.

-- 
Tristan