6
votes
1answer
326 views

Why is something fried on a griddle called grilled?

To my understanding, to grill is cooking with a heat source located beneath an open slatted grate (or ribbed closed pan). (For example, using a barbecue grill on one's patio.) The word grill is ...
1
vote
1answer
142 views

There is (there's) vs.There are

What are the roots of the creeping usage of "there's" for both singular and plural predicates? (This seems to be more common in spoken English.) I have 2 theories. Perhaps it is because spoken ...
2
votes
0answers
28 views

Origin/Usage of “[word] is a [number] dollar word” [duplicate]

I've often been wondering where the phrase in the title comes from - I always picture it as coming from an early television era game show, but more likely it has to do with pricing of telegrams or ...
5
votes
2answers
167 views

Is “nowadays” the same as “today”?

When helping an Italian speaker with her written homework, a cover letter, I told her to change the expression nowadays to that of today. Her original sentence was the following: I would be ...
3
votes
1answer
98 views

“Advice I wish I'd had ears to hear” — is this phrase in common use? Origins?

Productivity writer Merlin Mann often uses the phrase "ears to hear" on his podcast. An example from his writing: "a discursive mishmash of advice I wish I'd had the ears to hear in the year or ...
1
vote
3answers
363 views

Did the CIA really introduce 'conspiracy theory' into popular usage after JFK?

I heard that after the JFK assassination the CIA, through assets in mass media, introduced the term 'conspiracy theory', with it connotations of something clearly ridiculous, and only believed by ...
6
votes
1answer
90 views

Etymology of “rabona”

In association football, rabona is used to describe a specific technique: a method of kicking the football whereby the kicking leg is wrapped around the back of the standing leg—effectively with ...
1
vote
2answers
117 views

Corporates - is there any such word?

The use of "corporates" as a word to mean companies, organizations, etc., has been gaining popularity of late, at least here in India. Although I believe it is standard to speak of "corporate" life, ...
5
votes
3answers
603 views

Do you know the meaning of the American idiom “pot calling the kettle black”?

I just want to conduct a research about this American idiom and how native American people use it. Can you guys answer my questions in the following orders? If you have better questions, I will be ...
10
votes
5answers
854 views

In English you have 'above', 'on', 'over' and 'on top of' but in Italian one word, 'sopra', covers all four meanings

In Italian if I were to say, "sopra l'albero" (albero = tree) you might rightly ask: "Yes but where, exactly?" But "sopra" is a great word to learn in Italian, not only is it a very flexible ...
4
votes
2answers
176 views

Origin of the phrase “tell me when”

Growing up in my family, we would often use the phrase "tell me when" when serving each other food, pouring drinks, etc. For example, my mother would begin pouring me a glass of milk and say "tell me ...
2
votes
1answer
204 views

Origin of “[noun] enough” instead of “enough [noun]”?

Sometimes the word "enough" comes before a noun as in "I've got enough money to waste" and sometimes it comes after as in "I've got money enough to waste". Was "[noun] enough" more common in a ...
-2
votes
4answers
3k views

Why is poker a “sport” and not just a “game?” [closed]

So, first off, as tempting as it might be to do so, this is not an invitation to wax poetic on poker. I actually don't play it, but I know how it works. The question really is one of etymology. ...
1
vote
2answers
502 views

Losing bottles and bottling out

ODO's definition for bottle includes the following: 2 [mass noun] British informal the courage or confidence needed to do something difficult or dangerous: I lost my bottle completely and ran ...
0
votes
1answer
106 views

What does “mouth worked” mean? [closed]

I always thought that “mouth worked” describes when someone moves their mouth as if they are speaking, but no sound is emitted. This happens when they are so surprised that that they don’t know what ...
4
votes
2answers
394 views

How did “classic” and “classical” come to mean “historic”?

I assume the words classic and classical have a basis in the word class — which is to say, of a category. Why do we use those words to mean old or historically important?
5
votes
1answer
413 views

What does “state” in “State University” refer to? [closed]

There are many universities and colleges in the United States with names such as "... State University". The word state has many distinct meanings, but pertinent to this question are: government, ...
3
votes
1answer
1k views

How did “fuck” become taboo? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: How long has the f-word been in use as an abusive term? What makes a word offensive? I recognize that this is similar to Etymology of the term "curse words" ...
8
votes
6answers
728 views

Which is correct or more common when talking about medicine: “buy drugs” or “buy medicine”?

I mean it in the sense of buying medicine, for example for common cold or other diseases. When talking about buying medicine, which of these sentences is more correct or more commonly used: "go to ...
6
votes
4answers
11k views

Origin of current slang usage of the word 'sick' to mean 'great'? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: How and why have some words changed to a complete opposite? How did 'sick' come to mean 'awesome' or 'really good / cool' in modern U.S. slang? I'm interested in origins ...
0
votes
1answer
242 views

Origin and usage of the phrase “my son”

When I was watching the movie documentary "Fahrenheit 9/11", one of the interviewed lawyers told Michael moore "sit down, my son". After that, I just couldn't stop thinking about this phrase, and how ...