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25

From the quoted definitions at etymonline, I would suspect that you may be asking the wrong question :) If I look at the related words in other languages (dag, Tag) for day, it seems the final g has changed into a [j]. The same seems to have happened with (Dutch) leggen -> English lay. As it is normally pronunciation that defines spelling, and not the ...


17

I consulted Jesse Sheidlower, an editor-at-large for the Oxford English Dictionary. He said that my characterization of the Middle English form as having been peple or peeple was incorrect, and that “Middle English had a tremendous number of spellings”, the ‘eo’ form among them. So my idea that the ‘o’ was dropped and later revived is certainly wrong. ...


12

You are likely right. The words to use would be Nock and Stretch according to this one http://walternelson.com/historia/2006/06/another_historical_pet_peevear.html Hollywood loves to have groups of archers draw their bows to full span, and then have them hold their bows drawn while waiting many suspenseful moments for their leader to drop his sword to ...


11

While English spelling became more and more standardized after the printing press was introduced in 1475, it was not considered important until the 19th century. In the U.S., universal standardization was spurred by Noah Webster's ideologically motivated 1783 speller and 1828 dictionary, and by Horace Mann's efforts and the start of universal public ...


8

The Spanish labeled the area L'arcadia, or "wooded coast", during the explorer Verrazano's voyage in in 1524. (This is significant.) After changing hands multiple times, the land was given to Willian Penn by King George II to settle a debt owed to Penn's father by the king. Though Penn suggested Sylvania (Latin: silva/silvestre means woods/forest. Sylvania ...


7

I believe this comes from established patterns in spelling. If a word ends in a consonant, you could add -ly. (Nightly, hourly, promptly, quickly, etc.) If a word ends a consonant + y, one changes the y to i and adds the ending (-ly, -ness, etc.) Ready -> readi +ly/ness. Greedy -> greedi +ly/ness. Happy -> happi + ly/ness. When y is preceded by a vowel ...


7

"Loose/release/shoot an arrow" or "shoot a bow" are all possible variations that avoid the use of "fire". an ngram search provides some clues to the usage. "shoot" seems to be the commonest usage however all the others are possible. As for the movies using "fire!", I don't know about Frozen but at least in the other two the people involved would have been ...


6

The earliest sense of linguist simply means a skilled speaker, such as a rhetorician: linguist (n.) 1580s, “a master of language, one who uses his tongue freely,” a hybrid from Latin lingua “language, tongue” (see lingual) + -ist. Meaning “a student of language” first attested 1640s. The original sense survives in the double entendre cunning ...


5

No. Few is derived from Old English and has always meant "a small number", without indicating the exact magnitude of that small number. OED lists it from Bede, c.900. The verse in question uses that is to define exactly what the indeterminate few means in this case.


4

I watch a lot of westerns about cowboys in the old west (US). It seems to me that there are many references to saving hides (of cattle, also heads of cattle, another way to refer to the number of animals) and conjecture that it's possible that the expression "save my ass" started out as "save my hide". This is the NGram chart that shows the usage overlap: ...


4

People: late 13c., "humans, persons in general," from Anglo-French people, Old French peupel "people, population, crowd; mankind, humanity," from Latin populus "a people, nation; body of citizens; a multitude, crowd, throng," of unknown origin, possibly from Etruscan. The Latin word also is the source of Spanish pueblo, Italian popolo. In English, it ...


4

Medica's statement about the provenance of the name Pennsylvania is absolutely correct. Pensylvania, however, was an accepted alternative spelling at the time of the casting of the Liberty Bell. From UShistory.org: Also inscribed on the Bell is the quotation, "By Order of the Assembly of the Province of Pensylvania for the State House in Philada." Note ...


3

The phrase my ass meaning me as a person seems to be closely akin to your ass when addressed to that person. These phrases seem to be well established by the early 1950s when both Salinger (freezing my ass off [Catcher in the Rye]) and Jones (What if they threw my ass in jail? [from Here to Eternity]) used them in novels. Your ass referring to the whole ...


3

linguist (n.) 1580s, "a master of language, one who uses his tongue freely," a hybrid from Latin lingua "language, tongue" (see lingual) + -ist. Meaning "a student of language" first attested 1640s. According to the etymology both meanings can fit, probably evolving from self-taught scholars to modern language studies.


2

According to the OED, it was originally referred to as a science: "The science of the general comparison of languages, now developing itself under the name of linguistic, has, within a short period, made a very remarkable progress." -- 1825, Asiatic Jrnl OED The OED fully supports Josh's response: according to the definition of "Linguist", not Linguistics. ...


2

If you log into IMSDB (The Intenet Movie Script Database) you'll find the script: http://www.imsdb.com/scripts/Gangs-of-New-York.html. Look for masterscene header 7, and in that scene Vallon says bene, which is Italian for good, or probably it this context, it expresses well.


2

My answer has more to do with your side question than your main one (which others have addressed) but I think a look at the definitions and current usage is relevant. MW has "linguistic" as of or relating to language or linguistics; a "linguist" as a person accomplished in languages; especially : one who speaks several languages a person ...


2

Since I was getting a bit caught up in trying to write out some fairly complex things in comments to @medica’s answer, I am going to write it all out in a full answer here. Basically, there is a more or less regular variation in some words between final -y and non-final -i- (sometimes -ie) in English orthography. That means that when adding various suffixes ...


2

According to the Corpus of Historical American English (COHA) at BYU, snafu began appearing in popular print in the 1940s; in fact, the 1940s is the decade which has the most citations, at 22. For example, an "Army & Navy: Joe & Joe" column in the November 30, 1942 issue of Time provides the basic definition and a few examples. This matches the ...


2

Latin populus meaning folk. populus Romanus - the Roman folk or all the Romans or all Roman people.The Latin o changed in French to a vowel between o and e (le peuple) and in English the o became /i:/. Instead of writing ee one chose to write eo to show the connection with Latin populus.In German there is still the word der Pöbel, meaning people of the ...


2

I've found this: Fat City History – By Dan Ellis – The first phase of Lakeside Shopping Center became established in 1958-59 – Bob Spraque, architect. It was soon to become the anchor for the birthplace of numerous high-class lounges and happy-hour bars that would eventually be built. These were followed by apartment complexes that catered ...


1

Fat City noun Slang. an easy and prosperous condition or circumstance: With a new house and a better-paying job, she's in Fat City. Also, fat city. Origin: 1960–65 [EDIT] As for why 'city,' Joe-ks has this to say under 'Phrases, Clichés, Expressions & Sayings,' though I'm not sure of the authenticity (Scroll down to 'Fat city'): ...


1

As I have watched many military themed movies, I believe it has been in continual use since WWII's veterans returned to the US. It would be interesting to understand the popularity of a word in relation to box office SNAFU 1941, U.S. military slang, acronym for situation normal, all fucked up, "an expression conveying the common soldier's laconic ...


1

I do not know specifically of the word people, but I do know that there was a period from the 16th to 17th century when we tried to formalize spelling by adding silent letters to words to make them more closely resemble their believed (and occasionally incorrect) Latin or Greek roots. ...


1

The concept of referring to whole people by various body parts is nothing new in the English language. For example: Deck hands. Counting heads. Another pair of eyes. Every swinging dick in this company . . . (See the movie Heartbreak Ridge to hear this many, many times.) Self-reference to one's ass or someone else's ass is just an extension ...


1

Few has essentially two meanings in English. It typically means a small amount. But, there is also the ironic usage meaning many in phrases like quite a few. The etymology of the word in English dates to feawe in Old English. It has had the same meaning since. It in turn comes from ProtoGermanic *fau-, and that from PIE root *pau. There is no evidence ...


1

As to the etymology of "few" the hint at Old English is not enough. "few" is connected with French peu ( not much/not many), Italian poco and Latin paucus, in classic Latin mostly plural pauci meaning few. That "few" would have meant a special number such as eight is a theory one will not find in any dictionary, not even in a Latin dictionary. The word was ...


1

linguistics (n.) "the science of languages," 1847; see linguistic; also see -ics. The scientific sense of linguist came long after the actual meanings of linguist. So linguist can be used for someone who studies/masters a language/languages. There is also multilinguist who studies/uses several languages. Multilingualism is the act of using ...


1

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