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31

I believe the word you're looking for is reduplication. From Wikipedia: Reduplication in linguistics is a morphological process in which the root or stem of a word (or part of it) or even the whole word is repeated exactly or with a slight change. Wiktionary gives specific types: Exact type: acute-null accents; baby-talk-like bye-bye, ...


13

In the 1800s a hand job seems to have referred to a specific printing/bookbinding process done by hand. From Annual Report of the State Board of Arbitration of Illinois, Volumes 1-5: Q. What do you say as to competition in this particular line, hand job work, book and job work, what effect, if there is any, would such towns as Decatur, Jacksonville. ...


13

The show you're talking about, Deadwood, was pretty famous for its language anachronisms, especially when it came to swearing. (A coincidence that one of its main characters is named Swearingen?) From "Talk Pretty" on Slate: In interviews, [David Milch, the creator and show runner of Deadwood,] has insisted that the show, particularly the flamboyantly ...


12

hanky-panky is an example of rhyming reduplication zig-zag is an example of ablaut reduplication https://en.m.wiktionary.org/wiki/reduplication


11

OED Online offers a comprehensive etymology for alakazam. It says that it is apparently an arbitrary formation, invented to sound like a word in an unspecified foreign language, with the intention of creating an air of exoticism and mystery. For the magical exclamation, OED says that it is perhaps approximately suggested by abracadabra. The earliest form ...


11

I cannot believe that medlar was called only “open arse” in Old English, despite what etymonline suggests. There must have been a more ‘normal’ name, just as “dog's arse” is today British slang for medlar, likewise the bawdily named fruit openærs must have been a jocular and vulgar expression. What was its ‘other’ name in Old English? You surely ...


11

The "open-arse" (also: enter "open-ærs") entry's first reference in the NED is: "c. 1000 AElfric Gloss. in Wr.-Wülker 137/36 Mespila1/1a, openaers." This source contains no context as this is a lexicon geared at scholars (see document intro.). A note showcases the reaction of Wr.-Wülker to the word, much later, in 1884: It is rather singular that we ...


8

J.E. Lighter, The Random House Historical Dictionary of American Slang (1997) reports that "hand job" in its sexual sense goes back to 37: hand job n 1. an act of masturbation, usu. by one person on another who is a male.—usu. considered vulgar. [First citation:] 1937 [Pietro] Di Donato Christ in Concrete 107: Then ... go into the cellar and do the ...


8

"Off-label use", per Wikipedia: "is the use of pharmaceutical drugs for an unapproved indication or in an unapproved age group, unapproved dosage, or unapproved form of administration." I think it would be understood if use of the other items in your posting (massager, cough medicine) were referred to as "off-label" also. I'm not sure there is one ...


6

1) As for the difference between blet and rot: Blet is a noun that is used to refer specifically to fruits and plants (Plant Pathology) a state of softness or decay in certain fruits, such as the medlar, brought about by overripening [C19: from French blettir to become overripe] (Collins Dict.) According to Wikipedia blet is also a verb: ...


5

It's certainly still used here near Manchester (but less than was once the case). Oxford Dictionaries give the sense, labelling it as an informal British usage: clever 2 [PREDICATIVE, WITH NEGATIVE] British informal Healthy or well: I was up and about by this time though still not too clever.


4

"True dat" is African American Vernacular English for "That's true". https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zX9RVI0vaDs


3

"Hand job" appears to date only to the 1940s, so it would not likely have been in use in the 1800s. http://www.etymonline.com/index.php?term=hand+job


3

This is not meant to be an answer. I just became so immersed in the topic, I wanted to learn more about the Anglo-Saxon name openærs, and its demise. Old English ‘openærs’ Arse wasn't an impolite word when it first arrived in English. It simply meant an animal's rump, and we see it recorded in writing, from around the year 1000, in all kinds of ...


3

is the fact that I heard it for the first time last night indicate that it is gaining in popularity (or merely that I haven’t been listening close enough)? I would suggest the latter; if you haven't been inattentive, then you've merely been observing the wrong examples of filmed entertainment. This use has been moderately common in pop culture ...


3

Based on the context of the paragraph, I would say without a doubt that "yams" is slang for "legs," although it is not a term I have heard used in that way in my part of the United States. One does occasionally still hear the very similar term "gams" to refer to legs, but almost exclusively in reference to a woman's legs, not a man's, and mostly in a ...


3

According to knowyourmeme: “The D” first made an appearance on the 2004 single “So Sexy” by American rapper Twista featuring R&B artist R. Kelly. The entry for "the D" on Urban Dictionary was created in 2004 as well. Though the use of the term became more widespread through Tumblr in 2012: ...following the viral spread of Give Her the Dick, an ...


2

I think unintended use conveys the idea in general. The phrase is used both informally and formally. For example, it is used in International Product Liability as a formal phrase. There is also a website called Museum of unintended uses and the motto is the art of using things differently. Here are some clever examples from the same site: Ipad Stand: ...


2

I don't think that yikes as an exclamation has any direct connection to yoicks or hoicks, or with yike (the cry of the green woodpecker of Britain and continental Europe, recorded starting in the late 1800s), or with the baby-talk word yikes meaning "likes" and popular in the late 1800s and early 1900s)—or for that matter with yikes in the eighteenth-century ...


1

It is almost certainly a typo, for gams.


1

Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea, 1914: "Yet," Conseil asked me, "doesn't master believe in gigantic devilfish?" "Yikes! Who in Hades ever believed in them?" the Canadian exclaimed. Industrial World, Volume 46, Issue 2, 1912: "Are you going up to the roof? Will you take a message to someone for me, Anne? I promised to meet an ...


1

From Etymonline: salty (adj.) U.S. slang sense of "angry, irritated" is first attested 1938 (probably from similar use with regard to sailors, "tough, aggressive," attested by 1920), especially in phrase jump salty "to unexpectedly become enraged." Related: Saltily.


1

It means "that is true." "Dat" is used for "that" in some dialects.


1

Alright or all right (UK, informal) Generic greeting. "All right" apparently comes from a question (i.e. "are you all right?", "are things all right?") so it seems like more of a synonym for how are you. Then again, a response is often not expected. – All right used as a greeting: ‘hello’, ‘how are you?’ appears to have a quite old origin. OED cites a ...


1

I have some notes to supplement ermanen's very well-researched and wide-ranging answer to this question. They don't constitute a freestanding answer, in my opinion, but they do offer additional context for several of ermanene's quotations, as well as a few new reference points. Early occurrences of 'alakazam and 'allakazam' The earliest occurrences of ...


1

Tim's comment is a great idiom. I believe the full original proverb is: Give a man a fish, he will eat for a day. Teach a man to fish, and he will eat for a lifetime. Another option that is slang but perhaps a bit more useful for many cases: I can't figure out how to code this. Could you point me in the right direction? Essentially, "point me ...


1

I wouldn't object to seeing slew in a formal paper, it does however sound slightly exaggerated in connection with illnesses. If the person in question was indeed randomly and violently hit by a host of illnesses, I would leave it. Otherwise, may I suggest the following: He had a series of mental and physical illnesses. He had a succession of mental ...


1

I have seen an actual pegged meter in the EE Lab at the University of Wisconsin. When the meter is hit with a sudden extreme over voltage, the needle hits the peg hard enough that the needle wraps around the peg. Why is there a peg on the face of the meter? Probably because the meter isn't accurate above the peg point.


1

The second definition in JoeBright's answer is correct: thot is an acronym that stands for "That Ho Over There." The word has a negative connotation and is such sometimes used as an affectionate insult to close friends, but is almost always used to describe women. Ho is commonly misspelled as hoe, but intended as a short form for whore. It's generally ...



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