New answers tagged

-1

To be stuck fast simply means to be completely stuck and too rigid to be manipulated (here's a source). Furthermore, fast generally can mean (this is one of the alternate definitions of the word you'd normally associate with speed) firm and resistant, which means stuck fast isn't some anomalous phrase in which fast takes on a completely new definition, but ...


1

It simply means that the door is stuck very tightly and is otherwise unable to be opened at all. From the Macmillan Dictionary: unable to move at all Video games will say this to suggest that there is no way you would be able to open the door, even by force. Saying stuck fast dissuades the player from becoming annoyed at the game; if the door was ...


1

I think that you are assuming that scientists intend species names to have literal meaning in a way that they often don't. "Homo sapiens sapiens" isn't a well-formed Latin phrase. There is nothing for the extra "sapiens" to modify. The question of what the name means in Latin mistakenly assumes that it does mean something in Latin. The lack of meaning ...


0

I would say that "Over 6 figures" must mean 7 or more (1,000,000). Referring not so much to 100,001 being "over 6 figures" in value, but the actual number of figures being the subject of the saying. sorry for broken grammar, I'm seconds from finishing work :P


1

"Six figures" usually refers to amounts over 100,000, not amounts over 1,000,000. Yesterday's question on what six figures means is related.


0

From Wikipedia: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Homo_sapiens "Modern humans are the subspecies Homo sapiens sapiens, which differentiates them from what has been argued to be their direct ancestor, Homo sapiens idaltu." "Idaltu" is from the Saho-Afar word meaning "elder" or "first born". https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Homo_sapiens_idaltu I think in this ...


-1

I think it's just easy if you tell your students that Thanks is just a slang word for Thank You.


0

movie The Miracle Woman 1931. Barbara stanwick. woman evangelist."I suggest you get rid of those shillabers"


0

We were saying it in my youth in the 70s in a small Ohio town, so it precedes those book and movie references, and it was always "pop stand" because of soda pop. One reference I read online said it would've been used when one showed up at a club or venue and discovered no alcohol was served, only pop.


1

The term comes from spanking, according the following source: Butthurt: Butthurt is an online slang term used to describe a strongly negative or overemotional response. It is used to draw attention to a person who shows signs of being irritated due to a perceived insult, an unfavorable situation, or a lack of decent communication. The term ...


-1

It means a dilemma in which you have two choices to proceed, neither of them being favorable in the circumstances given. To give you an Image:


1

I have no evidence for this, but I think the point is that a rock is a hard place. So it's like six of one and half a dozen of the other, but in a negative sense.


-1

Just imagine that you have a huge rock on one side and a brick wall on the other. WHichever direction you go in you'll hit something which causes you pain. That's the best literal transalation I can give. Hope it helps :)


0

Herbal tea would have been a potion, a curative. https://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/potion Here is a gloss with "pocioun", Middle English "drynkyng medecyne", etymology to indicate the Latin "potio", "potatio", a drinking. ...


0

mead an alcoholic liquor made by fermenting honey and water. any of various nonalcoholic beverages. Origin of mead Before 900; Middle English mede, Old English medu, meodu; cognate with Dutch mee, German Met, Old Norse mjǫthr mead, Sanskrit madhu honey, Greek méthy wine rum an alcoholic liquor or spirit distilled from molasses ...


1

The Old English word habban did have a short vowel in all of its forms. However, I would expect the vowel to be lengthened in some forms of the word during Middle English due to open syllable lengthening. For example, this is the reason why we have a long vowel in shave, from Old English sceafan. (The forms with -bb- do not seem to have survived to Modern ...


0

You have missed a subtlety. "Very good,Sir" in fact implies that the servant is a senior servant who has the ability to judge the commands they have received, has done so and found them good. The alternative is "Yes, Sir" and we have all heard this used (if only on TV) by senior servants to imply something quite other. Footmen - for example - do not say ...


2

Latin influenced an already existing language: English. Therefore, all the most basic words already existed. Things like pronouns, articles, particles, basic (versions) of verbs such as to talk and to eat, and basic nouns such as the seasons, earth, food, etc, meaning they didn't "need" a romantic word. They needed words for things that were being introduced ...


2

Ernest Weekley, An Etymological Dictionary of Modern English (1921) gives no indication that the terms gadabout and gadfly use gad- in an etymologically shared sense. Here are Weekley's entries for the the relevant terms (I omit his coverage of gad in the sense of "God," as in gadzooks): gad1. Spike. O[ld] N[orse] gaddr, spike, nail, associated with the ...


12

When you boil down the question, the appropriate answer hinges on what would have been meant by "herbal tea" prior to the introduction of the word 'tea' in the sense of 2. a. A drink made by infusing these [Thea (now often included in Camellia)] leaves in hot water, having a somewhat bitter and aromatic flavour, and acting as a moderate stimulant; ...


5

In a languagelog blog post, one of the commenters found in Google books a 1903 shorthand book where the pound sign # is mentioned, and it appears that even at the time, it was in the U.S. a well-established symbol for both number (#2) and weight in pounds (5#), depending on whether it appeared before or after the associated number. I expect that this usage ...


4

Summary (paraphrased from Etymonline): Gadfly probably comes from gad (n), a goad, but "the sense is entangled with gad (v) 'rove about'". Gadabout comes from gad (v) plus about. The noun, gad, is older than the verb, gad (from gadden); both are older than gadfly. (The verb gad may perhaps be derived from the noun gad.) Gadabout is comparatively recent. ...


-1

I know "on the can" is an old fashioned term for going to the toilet.


3

Antecedents: 'Are we not men?' Questions along the lines of "Are you a man or a mouse?" or "Are we mice or men?" rarely appear in Google Books search results until the early twentieth century, but they have antecedents in rhetorical questions that go back much farther. Insistence on the special status of humankind is no doubt ancient, and rhetorical ...


-3

My wife did a tour at Celestial Seasonings. According to the tour guide, herbal infusions is what they originally called their products, but they didn't sell very well until they changed the name to herbal tea.


2

Many years ago, when I was working at Wave Hill, a New York cultural property consisting of several acres, gardens and two manor houses, we referred to the walled in courtyard outside the kitchen of Glyndor House as the "dooryard." It was just off the driveway, and clearly would serve for an informal visit -- not necessarily in the dooryard, but by way of ...


61

So, my question: How did they call these herbal infusions? During the Middle English period, the concoction made from the herb was itself referred to as an herb. They would say "Drink this herb". They didn't bother to say "infusion of this herb". Drinke þis herbe..and it [wol] make al þe body in-to a swat. A Middle English Translation of Macer ...


59

Tisane. an infusion (as of dried herbs) used as a beverage or for medicinal effects Middle English, from Anglo-French, from Latin ptisana, from Greek ptisanē, literally, crushed barley, from ptissein to crush — more at pestle First Known Use: 14th century dictionary.com edit: Tim Romano's answer below is superior to mine.


0

Following the football thread, I find this: The sport of football, meanwhile, was developing its own interjections. Back in the 1890s, John Heisman — of Heisman Trophy fame — introduced the word hike to football. Originally, the center (who puts the ball into play) used one hand to flip the ball under his legs to the quarterback. To alert the ...


1

According Etymonline the meaning of "raise' is probably from the sense of "pull up", a variant of "hitch" ( from Middle English hytchen, hichen, icchen ‎, “to move, jerk, stir”). Hike: Sense of "pull up" (as pants) first recorded 1873 in American English, and may be a variant of hitch; extended sense of "raise" (as wages) is 1867.


4

Likely not. Here's a rundown of the commonly accepted account of each word: Illicit 'Illicit', like 'elicit' has Latin origins. The original Latin derivative is 'illicitus' meaning il- (not) -licitus (allowed) or simply 'not allowed' (and its a second declension adjective if you'd like to know). We might with more accuracy, considering connotations and ...


1

It's informally referred to as a parenthetical read (also discussed here). In some contexts, it's a form of videlicet.


0

I'm sure I read something once that said "Yankee" was originally a pejorative for Scotsmen - or perhaps just Scottish sailors - that eventually came to be used to refer to Americans, back in the days of the Revolutionary War. I wish I could give you more details or tell you where I saw it but I truly don't remember.


2

Hold is an old word, at least one thousand years old, coming to us from Old English with the meaning of having, keeping, and containing. The figurative sense of holding something in one's mind has been there since the beginning (The OED cites such a usage in Beowulf.) From around 1200, hold takes the connotation of agreement, esteem, adherence or belief, ...


1

I went to http://babynames.net/names and found the following (just for A and B). There is more information there about the names and famous people who had the name. "Blossom", "Bond", "Branch", "Brand", "Bud".


0

The online etymology dictionary has the following entry hold (v.) Middle English holden, earlier halden, from Old English haldan (Anglian), healdan (West Saxon), "to contain; to grasp; to retain (liquid, etc.); to observe, fulfill (a custom, etc.); to have as one's own; to have in mind (of opinions, etc.); to possess, control, rule; to detain, ...


1

As an Addendum to deadrat's answer: According to The Families of Words by Mario Pei (Harper Brothers, 1962), tie and tight both come from the PIE root *deuk, "to draw, pull". The root on the Germanic side also gives us tow, tug, taut, team, tether, among many other words, including wanton and Herzog. On the Latin side, we get duke, educate, and conduit, ...


1

In French or Italian, car racing teams were/are called "écurie (de course)" or "scuderia", literally racing stable: the race cars are the horses and the replacement car is called in French "le mulet" (the mule) and in Italian "il muletto". Both in French and in English, the sense of mule/mulet later extended to development cars (testbed vehicle equipped ...


2

It's possible that, having lost his script, Sir Ian subconciously recalled lines heard in his youth: Go forth into the world in peace; be of good courage; hold fast to that which is good; render to no one evil for evil; strengthen the fainthearted; support the weak; help the afflicted; honour all men; ...


2

According to the Michael Coveney, a theater critic writing in the Wednesday 29 August 2012| Independent, Sir Ian McKellan lost his script and improvised. Theatre critic's view: Sir Ian McKellen improvises as Miranda floats past during the Paralympics opening ceremony But he'd lost his script, so he improvised a modern imprecation, telling his ...


2

It may have originated in Italian rather than English, because the 1964 Road and Track vol. 16, page 43 says: had built a pair of muletti — "mules" — whose design had been hastily roughed out by the same internal talent that had drawn up the Dischi Volanti and many other "house" designs. The workmanship of these muletti also was rough as they were never ...


1

Per the Oxford English Dictionary, the Concise Oxford Dictionary of English Etymology, and the Old English Translator, tie comes to us from the Old English tigan, related to the Old Norse taug (rope) and *tegja (to draw, as in drag). Tight comes to us from the Old English þíht, related to the Old Norse þehtr, tightly woven. So the two words descend to us ...


1

Because our short words come from German and French and describe things that farmers and sailors and priests and their Norman overlords were doing and working with in the Middle Ages. The only one of those groups who needed a word for "a shorter way to write something" were the priests, who were the only ones who wrote much of anything at all. Since ...


0

You already have the OED's earliest cite, which points out that it seems to have originated in Liverpudlian, not London, English. There's no present understanding about the term, though you could try looking for resources on the history of Scouse that might earn you a place in future etymology compilations. The only thing I'll note that others haven't is ...


2

Just as a reminder, Douglas Harper is a decent enough guy but not a reliable source. He just cribs other sources, often badly. Hardcore is obviously a compound of hard + core and, as you'd expect, it shows up first (early 19th century) in reference to building material with a literal "hard core" but no other distinguishing features (=rubble). By the first ...


1

Yes to all of the above. Trying to answer "why" questions when it comes to language use can be such a juicy journey, but one that is invariably a closed loop.... I have heard an elder woman call a younger man son, but I think it was in a particular generational/cultural dialect usage. More often it does seem even to be the opposite: "Baby girl" can be ...


2

No discussion of "pukka" is complete without mention of Only Fools and Horses. I can't vouch for the definitions on the page, but "pukka", "lovely jubbly" and "cushty" all have Del's voice in my head because of their prominence in the show. Even Jamie Oliver hasn't changed that.


0

Conjecture only, I'm afraid, but since it does seem to be used exclusively by (older) men, is it possible there's some rather veiled, age-related contempt involved in using the term at all? (Assuming one isn't speaking to one's own, actual son.) It seems to be used as a subtle way for one man to assert natural dominance over another one. If that's the case, ...



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