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30

I am American and familiar with "tea towel", but I think more commonly you'll see them called "kitchen towels". I would be surprised to find them in a gift store - they don't strike me as very collectible items. That may be the larger cultural disconnect.


29

I guess they are called: Dish towels: a rectangular piece of absorbent cloth (or paper) for drying or wiping A tea towel or drying-up cloth (English), or dish towel (American) is a cloth which is used to dry dishes, cutlery, etc., after they have been washed. In 18th century England, a tea towel was a special linen drying cloth used ...


18

As an American, I can tell you that we have many different absorbent materials in our kitchens. Here's an inventory of ours, along with the typical uses. Dish towel - always kept clean of food or hand contamination, used only to dry clean dishes after washing them. Sometimes known as flour-sack towels, they are flat, 100% cotton. They are often printed ...


14

The OED says it's "after German schwanen(ge)sang, schwanenlied". Being the OED, they're probably right. They give the meaning as: a song like that fabled to be sung by a dying swan; the last work of a poet or musician, composed shortly before his death; hence, any final performance, action, or effort. "swan, n." OED Online. Oxford University Press, ...


6

Mirroring John Deters' answer, here is an inventory for the British kitchen (well, Home Counties English - I'm sure there are further local variants): Tea-towel, or drying-up cloth - [=JD's Dish towel] clean, thin, absorbant, passed from generation to generation until disintegrating. Commemorative pictures, flowery patterns, rude phrases. Hand towel - ...


4

I don't know the context of the original Russian expression, so this is just a shot in the dark: Don't set a bad example. Don't lead him|her astray.


2

It's a metaphor. Water is life giving, cooling, satisfying, relieves and assuages thirst. Maynard needed assuaging, comforting, support and encouragement in her struggle to end her life with dignity. So she compared those who supported her to water, which is necessary to life and health; in this case they were assuaging her spirit.


2

For your drunk friend, I'd say: Sure buddy, just stumble right in, if you think you can. For your friend having domestic problems, I'd say: Sure buddy, plenty of room! I'll be staying with your EX. And for a generic, good for all occasions greeting, I'd say: Sure buddy, just barge right in, why don't ya?


2

Like the bureaucratic, Date of Birth, birthdate includes the year. Baryshnikoff (Jan 27, 1948) and Mozart (Jan 27, 1756) share a birthday but not a birthdate. I have met many people who were born on the same day of the year as me, but only one who also was born the same year. I did refer to her as having the same birthdate as me. (American English)


1

Given you've come back and edited your question, it seems you are still interested in an answer, so I'll elaborate on the one I provided in the comments. The modern rendering of "out upon" would be "out with" or "away with", so, Solanio's barb to Shylock: Out upon it old carrion, ... would be rendered in current English as "Out with you, ...", or ...


1

The more informal way of saying "Come in" is "Come on in". In my experience, there is a clear distinction in when to use these terms. "Come on it" implies that you know the person who is wanting to come in and that there is some familiarity with them, or you are trying to create an air of familiarity. In a similar way, on the game show "The Price is ...


1

I could imagine someone saying "barge on in" in the situation you describe. It's not a common idiom, but it would be understood. For some reason, "barge in" by itself doesn't sound as apt. EDIT: I'm taking it as a given that a playfully rude phrase is desired. You wouldn't use this unless you actually wanted to be (humorously) rude.



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