Tag Info

New answers tagged

0

The question invites argument: "the earliest example" in the question could resolve as the date the abbreviation was first pronounced as a word, or the first recorded appearance of the abbreviation later to be pronounced as a word. If the former, how is that date to be documented? Anyway, I'll throw a word into the ring: AWOL, n. and adj. ... ...


2

An acronym is an abbreviation (or intialism) that's pronounced as a word. They're a relatively modern invention; there are a few earlier examples , but their use really took off during WWII. INRI? INRI may be old, but when was INRI introduced into the English language? What evidence is there for people pronouncing it as "inree" in the English language? ...


2

Not much to go on but here are a couple of clues: The Latin dictionary (Smith) gives the earliest date for Diphthonga as 450ish. Marc. Carp.; Prisca. Two Roman Grammarians. And Ligature even later. None of the early uncial manuscripts that I have so far looked at show ligatures, apart from the Divine monograms. The same applies to a web-site for ...


0

If you google on "historical allusion", you will find a lot of words with similar historical significance, e.g.: you, too Brutus! Potato chips are my diet's Achilles heel. He was a Good Samaritan yesterday when he helped the lady start her car. John Travolta in "Grease" was most girl's Apollo. The club decided to boycott any cosmetics company that tested ...


1

Here is an example from 1814 where it means to tow (by horse). Perambulations of Cosmopolite: Or, Travels and Labors of Lorenzo Dow, I came to a camp where some negroes were toting* tobacco to market. I stopped with them until day, and one gave me some corn for my horse. *The mode of toting tobacco to market, is by rolling it in casks, with a ...


0

Many terms in English have a well-known history. We are not allowed to create lists so I'll offer just one example. "to turn a blind eye" To knowingly refuse to acknowledge something which you know to be real. Origin Admiral Horatio Nelson is supposed to have said this when wilfully disobeying a signal to withdraw during a naval ...


-1

In Breton it is the usual way to count For example : 31 = "unan ha tregont" 62 = "daou ha tri ugent" two and three twenty http://www.kervarker.org/fr/grammar_02_konta.html There are some reasons to believe that this English construction can be ascribed to the influence of Celtic Languages with which English has been in contact for the last ...


-3

I think that to explain etymology of word 'comrade' by changing the first vowel 'o' to 'a' without notice of so common prefix 'com' is less than ridiculous. So, let's with blessing from William of Ockham to decompose this word the simplest way: "com-rad-e", where 'com' is very common prefix and 'rad' is the root. Wikipedia lists following etymology of ...


2

See: Wikipedia for a good discourse on the historical use of acronyms. I knew the Catholic church used the acronym INRI on top of the crucifix for at least 500 to 600 years. A qoute from the Wikipedia article: "Acronyms were used in Rome before the Christian era. For example, the official name for the Roman Empire, and the Republic before it, was abbreviated ...


1

There is a trick for figuring this out. You go to Google Scholar and try out a series of custom ranges. Doing that, I discovered the following: I argue that their work, though powerful and brilliant in many ways, relies on what I call gender essentialism-the notion that a unitary, "essential" women's experience can be isolated and described ...


0

Early dictionary/glossary coverage of 'bomb' and 'the bomb' Geneva Smitherman, Black Talk: Words and Phrases from the Hood to the Amen Corner (1994) has this entry for "the bomb": THE BOMB 1) The height of something; the ultimate quality of anything. 2) An outstanding grade of marijuana. J.E. Lighter, The Random House Historical Dictionary of American ...


0

I always thought it came from Portuguese "Bom" meaning good. When I am in Brazil, I hear people say "It's bom" all the time.


0

Google Ngrams for 24, 25, 26 and 27 appear to show the same trend, with the German-like numerical expressions declining since 1800, but generally significantly in the region around 1940. All of them have retained a nontrivial amount of use into the modern era, however.


2

Dictionary coverage of 'get cracking' J.E. Lighter, Random House Historical Dictionary of American Slang (1994) reports that "get cracking" came into U.S. English from the UK during the 1940s: get cracking to get busy; get going. {This phr. came into U.S. speech through contact with British armed forces during WWII.} Lighter's first citation for the ...


0

I always understood (here in UK) that practice is the noun, and practise is the verb. It is the same as licence and license. Be warned though, as an amazing number of people here will tell you license (and practise, for that matter) are American, with the implication that they are incorrect.


1

Dictionary coverage of 'golliwog' Merriam-Webster's Eleventh Collegiate Dictionary (2003) shows no hesitancy in declaring the source of the word golliwog: golliwog also gollywog or golliwogg n {Golliwogg, an animated doll in children's fiction by Bertha Upton †1912 Am. writer) (1895) 1 : a grotesque black doll 2 : a person resembling a golliwog That ...


-2

The story I was told was that when the soldiers of the British Army were in Egypt they saw children playing with black dolls . The soldiers took some of them back home and the children were given them to play with .Originally called Ghulliwogs it then became golliwogs. Nothing to do with black people at all !


1

The words “now” and “snow” have never rhymed in the history of English. These two sounds are spelled the same way only by coincidence. The basic elements of Modern English spelling date back to Middle English, where we can already find the digraphs "ow" and "ou" used in many of the same words as in modern spelling. They are used in manuscripts of Chaucer's ...


2

The following extract from Grammophobia explains its origin: The Oxford English Dictionary describes the expression as “US colloq.” and defines it as “from beginning to end, completely; everything.” All the published references in the OED are from the 20th century. The earliest is this one from Won in the Ninth, a 1910 book of sports stories by the ...


4

'From soup to nuts' in reference books Christine Ammer, The American Heritage Dictionary of Idioms (1997) has this entry for "from soup to nuts": from soup to nuts Also from A to Z or start to finish or stem to stern. From beginning to end, throughout, [examples omitted]. The first expression, with its analogy to the first and lasy courses of a meal, ...



Top 50 recent answers are included