Tag Info

Hot answers tagged

6

No, it does not. The word watch referring to a small timepiece predates 1735 by a good margin. The earliest citations in the OED article (sense 21a) are from the 16th century: 1590 R. Harvey Plaine Percevall sig. D4v: Surrender vp thy watch though it were gold. 1592 R. Greene Thirde Pt. Conny-catching sig. E2v: He reported his freend had ...


4

What could be more gradual than sitting quietly, waiting for an opportunity to strike? Human imagination plays a huge role in the etymology of words: Imagine a heard of gazelle munching grass on the Serengetti. They have no idea that just 50 yards away, an insidious lion is crouching quietly in the grass, waiting for them to cross the imaginary line that ...


4

It's about being an accommodating and gracious host. Here are Merriam Webster's definitions: a. generous and friendly treatment of visitors and guests : hospitable treatment b. the activity of providing food, drinks, etc. for people who are the guests or customers of an organization


3

A different kettle of fish and a whole new kettle of fish is the British English equivalent of the North American idiom a whole new ball game. Both idioms mean "a different thing altogether", and refer to a new topic which only appears to be related to a previously mentioned one. Nowadays the term kettle is usually associated with teakettles, but in the ...


2

A Google Books search finds two examples of the phrase from the 1890s and two more from the very early 1900s. From "Johnnie You've Lost," reprinted from the San Francisco Examiner as part of "The Sketch Book—Character in Outline," in Current Literature (February 1890): Both [bare-knuckles fighters] were winded and blood was flowing in streams. As soon as ...


2

I have always thought the "bag" part to be an abbreviation of "baggage", which has long been a pejorative term for a woman, and still is in many parts of the UK and particularly (in my experience) Ireland. Grose's Classical Dictionary of the Vulgar Tongue (1823) confirms this sense of "baggage" BAGGAGE. Heavy baggage; women and children. Also a ...


2

As a concept ( an arm watch at first) it appears to have an earlier origin, but as a noun it looks like that it started to be used around the end of the 19th century. Wrist-watch is from 1889. (Etymonline) Wristwatch: The concept of the wristwatch goes back to the production of the very earliest watches in the 16th century. Elizabeth I ...


2

The common root is apt from which both adept and adapt derive, adoption seems to have a different origin: Adapt: early 15c. (implied in adapted) "to fit (something, for some purpose)," from Middle French adapter (14c.), from Latin adaptare "adjust," from ad- "to" (see ad-) + aptare "join," from aptus "fitted" (see apt). Meaning "to undergo ...


1

According to the Online Slang Dictionary, one slang definition of dog is "something of poor quality or a poor performer." It's sometimes used to refer specifically to a car of poor quality, as in The Dog and Lemon Guide. So to say a car runs like a dog means it runs like a bad car, in the same vein as "My car runs like a lemon" or "My car runs like a ...


1

I'm also familiar with the phrase, "She's a dog," to describe a car or truck that has lost it's 'get up and go'. I don't think it refers so much to running speed, (some dogs are known for speed) as the fact that it doesn't always respond when you expect it to, i.e., when you step on the gas. Like when you say, "Here, doggie," and the doggie glances over at ...


1

The saying born and bred dates back at least to the 17th century as shown in Ngram. To breed at that time already meant also to grow up ( late 14th c.) so there is not reason to suppose that the expression had originally a meaning different from the contemporary one. Born and bred: used to say that someone was born and grew up in a particular place, ...


1

It's possible it's come from Scottish OED says of Jank Jank, v.Sc. (dʒæŋk) [Derivation obscure: cf. Sw. and Norw. dial. janka to totter, go slowly, hesitate.] intr. To trifle, shuffle. 1697 Cleland Poems 19 (Jam.) Now he's rewarded for such pranks, When he would pass, it's told he janks. 1808–18 Jamieson, Jank, to trifle. Loth. So jank n., a ...


1

The folowing source suggests that no clear etymology is available, but a novel creation might be at its origin. Janky: adjective; other word formation type: having the qualities of or being associated with a poor urban area or ghetto. Janky: This term has been deemed a more politically correct term for European-Americans (Caucasians) to ...


1

Color Surnames have different origins and depends what cultural where their born or their descendants like Ireland, Scotland Britain or England, Wales Cornish evenly other origins of europe color surnames Like my Surname "White" is Irish gaelic celtic its means in irish Ban or Bane or Macfaoitigh or MacWhite. I am Half Irish and Half German also White could ...


1

Disclaimer: I speak entirely from personal logic, with no authoritative sources other than the raw definitions to back me. Remit arises from the idea that I send you a demand for payment, and you send back the payment. (http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/remit says: "to send (money) to a person or place especially in payment of a demand, account, ...


1

Backup was not one word. It started off as back-up. Similar words Back-up. Backing up, backed up. Wrong: Backuping, backupped. Layout. Laying out, laid out. Wrong: layouting, or layouted. Sign-in. Signing in, signed in. Wrong: sign-inning, sign-inned. Set-up. Setting up, set up. Wrong: setupping.


1

My understanding of the phrase "pray in aid" is that the verb pray has the sense of "request" or "seek" and the prepositional phrase in aid has the sense "in support of [one's cause]" or "by way of assistance to [one's cause]." Unlike the OED entry cited in WS2's interesting answer, Black's Law Dictionary, fourth edition (1968), does not categorize "pray ...


1

Being of the right age and birthplace I always assumed it was short for a person who was divergent from the name caller. Could mean anything the caller wanted and that was the most annoying thing about being called a divi.


1

Please advise if the following erred, but it helped me to naturalise or rationalise the etymology. Each indent signifies a response to an earlier post; I omit each post's usernames for readability. [Source:] The best one I can think of off the top of my head goes back to before last names where a thing, so people would sometimes use "eke" (pronounced ...



Only top voted, non community-wiki answers of a minimum length are eligible