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The drop or descent of the ball, an old custom that dates back to the 19th century, used to indicate the time ( 1 pm or noon) to which people could set their clocks. The idea of a descending ball was adopted by Mr. Adolfo Ochs, the owner of the New York Times, to celebrate the New Years Eve from the roof of the newspaper's building in Times Square. ...


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Dropping the ball Christine Ammer, The American Heritage Dictionary of Idioms (1994) offers this entry for "drop the ball": drop the ball Make an error; miss an opportunity. For example, She really dropped the ball when she forgot to call back, or He dropped the ball, turning down their offer. This expression comes from sports where a player who fails ...


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An adjective is not a proper noun. Proper nouns are capitalized, while verbs and adjectives and other parts of speech are not. In religious circles, when referring to the Bible, it is a proper noun. Same for Scripture. If you are looking up biblical verses or scriptural texts and references, etc.the adjectives are not capitalized.


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Each of the four definitions "radiates" out from the original idea of plek- "to plait, twist". If you have ever observed a person spinning thread, weaving cloth, or making a woven basket, you know that it can be meticulous, slow, and repetitious work: The individual elements need to be aligned properly. Each element must be interconnected with the ...


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For the question in the title, subject to chance it's simply because that's what the Latin contingere means. Oxford Latin Dictionary 1982 (via http://www.latin-dictionary.net/search/latin/contingere) contingo, contingere, contigi, contactus verb - conjugation: 3rd conjugation - voice: intransitive Definitions: 1. be produced 2. happen, befall, ...


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That particular meaning of deport is archaic, not used anymore, except in the noun form as deportment. And it is a nice word and means to treat with consideration; carry or conduct oneself well. If you are curious how can one word come to mean two opposite things: It happens in English all the time, think of the word sanction it means two completely ...


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I agree with FumbleFingers's observation in a comment above that "education begins at home" is so natural an observation that it would be somewhat surprising if no one had ever used it. The first match for the phrase that a Google Books search finds appears to be from "Visiting the Poor," published originally in a British publication, The Educational ...


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Then it is anonymous.If you have tried and found no answer, sometimes a statement just called as anonymous and in my opinion, those anonymous came from long ago or spread widely from a community without knowing who is the first speaker because the involved statement described the actual condition or daily life. Only famous people or well-known people's ...


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I have heard that the term 'plant' is a shortened version of "plantation". In earlier times, the slaves would come to work on the plantation. Today the employees(slaves) come to work at the modern factory(plantation). Sounds funny and I have no idea if there is any truth to it.


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Before this question is closed, which it will be for asking something you could look up yourself.... Etymology: < French couche (13th cent.), earlier Old French culche, < coucher


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I am going to suggest taking your heads out of the history books and look to the source of many recently added dictionary words' sources...the TV! LOL! Although I do not recall completely which episode this was, I have used this word since learning it when I was a mere 5 or so years old with my first being introduced to it while watching the original Astro ...


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Are you confusing the past tense/participle of leave with left? Left1 [Middle English, from Old English lyft-, weak, useless (in lyftādl, paralysis). N., sense 2, from the fact that liberals often sit on the left side of the legislative chamber in various assemblies .] Left2 v. Past tense and past participle of leave1. American Heritage® Dictionary of ...


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You are mixing up left (= not right side) and left (= past participle of to leave) They sound the same, but have totally different origins, they are a classic example of a homonym. Homonyms are defined as Words that share the same spelling and pronunciation but have different meanings. 1 Homonyms (or homophones = words that sound the same) are ...


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It might be me, but to me this derives not from left/right but simply from the verb to leave... In french you'd say things like: "Il me reste X" or "Il reste X". (I'm left with X. X is left.)


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The early use of lustre was full of light--literal and figurative. Splendor Solis by Solomon Trismosin in 1582 suggests reflected light on the surface of metals: His definition of it is that it gives lustre to metals, and colour and fragrance to flowers. On page 400 of Certaine articles or forcible reasons in 1600, Thomas Wright and ‎Etienne Binet ...


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Well, while most of the people associate it with "gloss," 1 in the following definition, "luster" can still mean something close to "light" (see meaning 2): lus·ter noun 1 a : a glow of reflected light : gloss, sheen 2 a : a glow of light from within : luminosity, shine luster of the stars Blue Grotto of the magical luster — ...


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This is only an assumption, but after doing a bit of research I have come up with the following notations and now believe the "Tommy" in TommyKnockers is a carry over of these references of a "Tommy" being a British person (soldier) in as much as the legend of them correlates in the U.S. mining communities about the same time frame and the high possibility ...


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In 1964 Paul Krassner's 'The Realist' Magazine started to run a feature called "soft-core pornography," usually photographs from the mainstream media that could be interpreted in a sexual manner, most famously the August 1967 issue featuring Ronald Reagan. Krassner has stated that he derived the term from creating an opposite to the Supreme Court use of the ...


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In my observation, the negative meaning is likely the older version as evidenced by usage in older movies and TV shows and regionally dependent. In the British sitcom "last of the summer wine", set in the yorkshire area, the character Compo complains how his wife left him for another man by exclaiming "she ran off with a chuffing Pole". By contrast, ...


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It would appear from this that Americans call fish kettles something else. This page shows what we in the UK mean by a fish kettle. We regularly use ours and call it just that.


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TommyKnockers are an American Urban Legend about the ghosts of miners knocking on the walls of a mine right before a cave in to warn the living miners to get out of the mine. Some say that if you are the first person to hear a TommyKnocker you will be cursed or will die very soon. Which leads to hearing one at your door as a very bad omen indeed. In short ...


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It looks like this is an Italian name; you share the name with a well known Italian physicist from Sicily: Ettore Majorana. Wikipedia also has an article on the surname in general, and Ancestry.com has a page specifically for the spelling "Maiorana", though they mainly have information on the name in the United States, that indicates that the name comes from ...


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A fine or pretty kettle of fish As Peter Shor's comment beneath Ralph Richardson's answer indicates, "kettle of fish" has been used as a slang term for several centuries. The same definition of the term that he points to appears in Francis Grose, A Classical Dictionary of the Vulgar Tongue, second edition (1788): KETTLE OF FISH. When a person has ...


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I have the earliest attestation for the idiom dated to 1742 in Oxford Dictionary of English Proverbs. The work is Henry Fielding's novel The History of the Adventures of Joseph Andrews and of his Friend Mr. Abraham Adams. With such like discourses they consumed near half-an-hour, whilst Betty provided a shirt from the hostler, who was one of her ...


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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 ...


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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 ...


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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 ...


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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 ...


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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 ...


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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.


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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, ...


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Remit has always been a curious word for me, mostly for the reasons you mentioned. If the etymology of the word is to "let go back," then this suggests to me that this word has its roots in language spoken by subjects in a monarchy. Case in point: the word real in real estate has its roots in language spoken by subjects of a monarchy: real essentially ...


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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 ...


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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 ...


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I first became aware of the phrases "on the schneid" and "off the schneid" in the 1980s and 1990s in connection with baseball, where they meant, respectively, "enduring a string of bad performances" and "breaking out of a bad slump" (sometimes referred to as an "o-fer" when a hitter has not had a base hit in, say, 18 at bats over several games, making him ...


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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


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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 ...


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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 ...


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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 ...


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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 ...


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Could it be bag as in bag of bones gives you old bag?


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downtown freddy brown with the late 70's Supersonics was the first I heard it. However, I am open to earlier usages. I would offer that Blackburn's usage was the one that ultimately stuck.


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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 ...


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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. CAUTION: Please beware that the policy or the impolicy of the diction (used in the following excerpts) do NOT imply or reflect my own. [Source:] Vagina, ...


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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 ...


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User Callithumpian's answer above states: Etymonline indicates that the "completely" sense of the word was an extension of the "exact measurement" sense of the word and dates this shift back to the mid-18th So I thought to enlarge the necessary previous step: how plumb meant "exact measurement". Each indent signifies a response to an earlier post; I ...


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I have lived in the East Bay (Berkeley and Albany) of the San Francisco Bay Area since 1984, and I've never heard the term key-thongs used here. Nor have I ever heard a pier or a dock or a wharf or a boardwalk referred to hereabouts as a quay. Of course, 1984 is about 20 years after the period cited in the OP's question, so it is certainly possible that ...


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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, ...


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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 ...


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To let something slide can be both pejorative and easy going. The example of "Papa had let the business slide after Mama's death" could be construed as an example of sloth (therefore bad) or more likely as an example of grief taking over his life. The example of letting the child sit at the table with his backpack on is of the easy-going type unless one ...



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