5
votes
1answer
171 views

OED Appeals: Antedatings of “headhunter”

The OED has made a public appeal for help in tracing the history of some English words, including: headhunter noun earlier than 1960 The tribal practice of decapitating enemies and ...
3
votes
1answer
395 views

Where does the nounification of 'spend' come from? [closed]

For example, the estimated spend for Q3 is a million dollars.
6
votes
3answers
274 views

“Space” as a synonym for industry, sector or business segment

When, and from where, did "space", as a synonym for industry, sector, or business segment, enter the language? For example, one wouldn't expect to read "His family made a fortune in the buggy whip ...
4
votes
4answers
2k views

What does the word “hacking” or “hacker” come from? [closed]

Is there a history behind the word "hacker" and "hacking"? Could it have anything to do with "hashing" i.e. using a hash function?
6
votes
1answer
532 views

Etymology of “gladhand” (truck hose coupler)

References for "glad hand" in its common meaning of "effusive but perhaps insincere greeting" seem easy to find [1], and it's easy to find definitions for the truck-hose-coupler meaning of gladhand ...
5
votes
3answers
7k views

What does it mean to “pay X on the dollar”?

When I hear money laundry lingo in TV crime-series, people sometimes fence stuff for so and so much "on the dollar". What does it actually mean? And where does the expression originate from?
0
votes
2answers
633 views

Why did ‘off-the-shelf' come to mean ‘in stock, ready-made, and easily available’?

I came across the word “off-the-shelf” in the following sentence of Time magazine’s article “The 50 Best Inventions of the Years (Nov.11 issue). He (inventor of the first synthetic cell) started with ...