Tag Info

New answers tagged

-1

According to the Encyclopédie, ou Dictionnaire raisonné des sciences,from 1750,the universe is a common noun,naming the idea,not specific in a way The Universe,described as"nom collectif",i guess,of the world and all stars of the sky above. My impression,is that the interess for the physical view of the Universe grow old in the years of the french ...


1

It's possible it's an idiom from the time. Remember that the phrase is over 400 years old. Looking in a dictionary today may not show the implied meaning as understood by people from that time. But there are lots of things like that in English, and we use them without thinking. Referring to something as being "cool" as an example. A really "cool" car. ...


1

The idiom is explicitly "three cheers and a tiger", for special occasions when the normal 'three cheers' was or is not exuberant enough. Wordreference seems to think it originated in the American Civil War, as a low growl reaching a crescendo; Straight Dope accords more with the British experience, of a fourth cheer becoming an enthusiastic babble.


1

Interesting! I'd not come across this before. According to the OED, it is (or was): U.S. slang. A shriek or howl (often the word ‘tiger’) terminating a prolonged and enthusiastic cheer; a prolongation, finishing touch, final burst. 1845 onwards. "tiger, n." OED Online. Oxford University Press, September 2014. Web. 21 November 2014.


-1

It is contextual. Here is a link to an article: Universe Or universe? It All Depends On The Multiverse, which helps to clarify. The reader can easily check, after glancing at a handful of books and articles, including here at 13.7, that the word "universe" sometimes is capitalized and sometimes not. How is that decided, exactly? And who decides ...


-1

It is an ancient Greek word '-ismos, -isma', used to describe the social, political, religious beliefs or doctrine, behaviour, character and a state or condition of a word of which it is signified. Examples; Doctrine - Buddhism State or condition - alcoholism Character - colloquialism Behavior - sexism, racism


4

The OED is one of the most authoritative sources on this kind of thing: Etymology: Repr. French -isme, Latin -ismus, < Greek -ισμός, forming nouns of action from verbs in -ίζειν, e.g. βαπτίζειν to dip, baptize, βαπτισμός the action of dipping, baptism. An allied suffix was -ισμα(τ-), which more strictly expressed the finished act or thing done, and ...


0

I think the correct is 'universe', not 'Universe' (except the word is placed as the first word of sentence, we must use 'Universe'). This word is like star and moon that doesn't use capitalization because universe is not scientific name like The Big Bang. I'm sorry if my answer is wrong.


0

I have always thought that hoist on one's own petard was a corruption of the original Dutch phrase meaning much the same thing. I cannot remember where I read this explanation, but it stuck in my memory. All contemporary sources reference it back to Shakespeare's Hamlet, but could he have heard it somewhere else?


2

If a reader were to open an English book printed in the 17th century, one of the first things he'd notice would be the unconventional spellings, and how most nouns were capitalized. Just like the German today, it was customary during the late 17th century and the end of the 18th century to emphasize all the nouns (or nearly) with a capital letter, but there ...


-1

No info regarding the first use, but maybe something about why it is no longer as common as it was. I recall talking about how nobody would use "bomb" in this way when I was working in a law office in New York City shortly after September 11. I was sorry to see "the bomb" go. Does anybody else recall "it's the bomb-digity?" The "bomb-digity" (sp?) was even ...


1

The phrases "principle of action" and "principle of conduct" don't seem like idioms to me, nor divorced from their constituent words. Rather your examples seem to me to be straightforward applications of the word principle. From the OED's entry for principle, for example, we read: I.b: A fundamental source from which something proceeds. II.: ...


1

The best word or phrase to use would depend on the nationality and social standing of the pilot. For an upper-class Englishman "Hurrah" or "By gosh, that was easy." For an American, perhaps "Gotcha".


2

Gotcha! is used in this 1916 book in the sense you want, but not by an aeroplane pilot, sorry, airplane pilot. But I would assume the term could feasibly be used by an airplane pilot. Another example. Note: You can search for phrases using Google Ngram, like this one. You have to keep in mind that not all uses have the same meaning. I gotcha has a lot of ...


0

Having read theregister.co.uk enough, I see pear-shaped and tits up meaning the same thing: bad things have happened. Some sources say pear-shaped means "broken" where tits up means "dead". However, I'm likely to assume these were more directly related than urban definitions propose. tits up has an analog in belly up in AmE (think dead fish).


-1

This is a good question (and I think Talia Ford above answers it well). I only wanted to add that “enough” is one of those words that seems often used as rhythm more than providing any real meaning or service to the point. Like when people say “actually” or “well” whenever he or she speaks, regardless of the applicability. It also seems (in my ...


2

The zero conditional is called that, because it is not really a condition. When speakers present an action or state in factual conditional terms (the so-called Zero Conditional), they are stating that they accept that action or state as reality If you heat ice, it melts. If Andrea cooks, I wash up. If it’s ten o’clock already, then I’m late. General ...


1

0 conditional If it rains, I take my umbrella. 1 conditional "If it rains, I'll take my umbrellla. 2 contditional If it rained, I'd take my umbrella. 3 conditional If it had rained, I would have taken my umbrella. In the 0 conditional "if" can usually be interchanged with "when".


0

There may be some truth in the 'vowel shift', but if u study texts with original spellings from 1350 to 1750, it is very difficult to find much evidence for it, because between 1430 and 1650 English spelling became increasingly varied and random. Between 1525, the publication of the first English New Testament, and 1611, the year of the King James Bible, ...


1

John Bartlett, Dictionary of Americanisms, second edition (1859) identifies several terms from various parts of the United States that might suit. From New York: HIGHBINDER. A riotous fellow. New York slang. From what was then considered the Western part of the United States: SCROUGER. A bouncing fellow or girl. A Western vulgarism. and ...


2

To answer number one: Steely Dan has a song on their album Pretzel Logic called Charlie Freak. The song revolves around a man who sells everything he owns for drugs. So, with this example, we see that the word was used beyond boarding schools. (The album was recorded in New York, 1974.) EDIT: Added year of song


2

Freak was common in the 70s and I was in public school. "Freak" in slang usage connotes sexual activity or kinky sex. Urban Dictionary


4

Direct from Greek ῥυθμός (rhythmos). "rh" is not an unusual word start in Greek, "y" is just a vowel, "-os" turned into "-us" in Latin then fell off when accepted into English, so the vowel that would have been in the syllable with "m" went away.


0

Also perhaps, religion played a part in that peak. People started to think that everything around them, including the stars, the universe, the planets, may have been created by God, and therefore also needed to be capitalized??? Just a thought...


-2

Churchill used the phrase in a speech to congress in 1941 or 1942.


0

I would love to add to this thread as a Canadian I grew up on the west coast and only ever knew the term thong for the rubber sandal type thing everyone is describing, g-string for underwear. I left for Australia in 1999 where the same footwear was called a thong. However, I have returned to Canada after 13 years away to discover that my lifelong friends ...



Top 50 recent answers are included