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8

In the case of "New York's Finest," Barry [Popik] has traced the term back to the 1870s, where it apparently first emerged in the form "the finest police force in the world," a phrase associated with George Matsell (police chief at the time), and possibly modeled on Civil War Major General Joseph Hooker's estimation of his troops as "the finest ...


8

I’m not sure this is really a good fit for ELU (perhaps better on Linguistics), but here goes anyway. French dent and English tooth share a common ancestor, Proto-Indo-European *(h1)donts (nominative), with the stem *(h1)dent-. Germanic generalised the nominative *o, while Italic (well, Latin anyway) generalised the oblique *e. Latin thus gets dens in the ...


6

According to etymonline The transitive sense (He learned me how to read), now vulgar, was acceptable from c.1200 until early 19c., from Old English læran "to teach" (cognates: Dutch leren, German lehren "to teach," literally "to make known;" see lore), and is preserved in past participle adjective learned "having knowledge gained by study."


6

From an American culinary perspective, while generally "sultana" and "raisin" are interchangeable, the unqualified sultana is a light-colored fruit and the unqualified raisin is a dark-colored fruit. To rewrite this recipe using typical American English, replace "sultanas" with "golden raisins." I would expect the recipe would be as easily understood in ...


5

According to The Phrase Finder, the origin is simpler and more intuitive than the legends about it might suggest: 'A frog in the throat': is an American phrase that entered the language towards the end of the 19th century. The expression doesn't have a fanciful derivation (see more on that below) but comes directly from the fact that a hoarse ...


4

If you look at the Online Etymology Dictionary, you will see the roots of two separate meanings of the noun box: Old English box "a wooden container," also the name of a type of shrub, from Late Latin buxis, from Greek pyxis "boxwood box," from pyxos "box tree," of uncertain origin. See OED entry for discussion. German Büchse also is a Latin loan ...


4

"Boxing" the sport is of course related to the word "box" as in fight with fists. However, although they are spelt the same and sound the same they are actually entirely different words from different origins. "Box" as in a container comes from Latin buxis which in turn is from Greek pyxos, a type of tree (and consequently the wood used to make the ...


4

It's generally not confusing to most the obvious differences between a sandwich, a witch and the word "which", but are they related in any way? No. Sandwich the food comes from sandwich the town (quite likely via the 4th Earl of Sandwich). Many English place names have -wich at the end, and some have the related -wick or -wych and a few used to have ...


4

OED's entry for in spite of dates its earliest citation to 1400: "But for noy of my nobilte & my nome gret, I shuld..spede the to spille in spite of þi kynge." I have no idea what most of that means, but "in spite of the king" is clear. in defiance (†scorn or contempt) of; in the face of; notwithstanding. This is not too far removed from the noun ...


3

You have nothing to fear if you have nothing to hide. The phrase - widely used in discussions of Internet security and uttered by Pius Thicknesse in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows - is most commonly attributed to Joseph Goebbels in 1933. However, there is an earlier precedent. Upton Sinclair used an inverted version in 1918 in The Profits of ...


3

In NYC, the police are "NY's Finest", the firemen are "NY's Bravest" and the sanitation workers are "NY's Strongest". ("Everybody wants to get into the act" - Jimmy Durante)


3

English has names for light blue. You just may not know them. The most common is cyan, like the open sky at sea level. Cyan is a very important color because it is one of the three primary colors in the CMY color model. English words for light blue include celeste, cyan, watchet, fesse, pervenche, periwinkle, and zircon — plus others less common. English ...


3

AmE usage seems a bit "variable", but I think everyone in the UK recognizes the same distinction... Raisins are dried white grapes (pictured #3 below). They are dried to produce a dark, sweet fruit. The grapes used are usually Moscatel. Sultanas are also dried white grapes but from seedless varieties. They are golden in color and tend to be ...


2

Etymonline has some insight: box (n.1.) Old English box "a wooden container," also the name of a type of shrub, from Late Latin buxis, from Greek pyxis "boxwood box," from pyxos "box tree," of uncertain origin. box (n.2.) "a blow," c.1300, of uncertain origin, possibly related to Middle Dutch boke, Middle High German buc, and Danish bask, all ...


2

According to (www.dictionarycentral.com): Jessie : noun a weak or effeminate man. A Scottish and northern English term of ridicule which has become widespread since the mid-1970s, partly due to the influence of comics such as the Scot, Billy Connolly. It is synonymous with nellie and big girl’s blouse. There are two proposed derivations for ...


2

A definitive answer appears hard to give, anyway to your research I'd add the information offered by The Phrase Finder which has a different story to tell linked to 'pugilism'. Everything considered, to me the tradition to give Christmas boxes with gifts to tradespeople and servants appears to be the most plausible: 'Christmas boxes' were ...


2

The OP definition of withstand is correct, but it has a passive construction that visually confuses the 4-sentence formulation. In all four of the OP sentences, the meaning is correct: Y happens in spite of X but the 4 sentences have created an optical illusion, because the meaning of the sentences is not tabulated in columns as the OP erroneous assumes. ...


1

I am no expert in English grammer, but in the phrase "a learned man", the "learned" is pronounced "learnid". Not pronounced like "he learned", so while it is spelt the same it is a different word/meaning or different form of it.


1

Its usage is certainly literary and archaic. NGram: curiously shows that its usage peaked in the 18th century, and decreased steadily since then. Unluckily, Ngran does not offer instances of usage earlier than the 16th century. 'TIS: (from M-W) it is, ( contraction). Origin - First Known Use: 15th century 'TIS ( from Wiktionary) ...


1

notwithstanding and in spite of call for a noun-phrase (e.g. "its illegality") Moonshine thrives in the Appalachians, its illegality notwithstanding. Its illegality notwithstanding, moonshine thrives in the Appalachians. Moonshine thrives in the Appalachians in spite of its illegality. In spite of its illegality, moonshine thrives in the ...



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