Linked Questions

22
votes
3answers
15k views

Why is it "ladies and gentlemen" instead of "gentlemen and ladies"? [duplicate]

Is there a specific reason for this? After all, it is "boys and girls", rather than "girls and boys". If the boy (male) comes first here, why doesn't it come first in "ladies and gentlemen"?
11
votes
4answers
27k views

"Mom and Dad" vs "Dad and Mom" [duplicate]

I'm curious if the order implies anything here. I'm pretty sure "Mom and Dad" is standard in English. The issue was hard for me to google, so I'm asking it here: Is using "Dad" before "Mom" incorrect,...
3
votes
2answers
6k views

Why do we say kith & kin and not kin & kith? [duplicate]

Why do we often say "kith and kin" and not "kin and kith"? I was taught to believe that family comes first and the other later, and I do still believe in what I was taught.
2
votes
1answer
5k views

Is there a difference between "Wrong or Right" and "Right or Wrong" [duplicate]

I was writing about the difference between morals and ethics when i wrote the following line both these terms talk about the right and wrong conduct of people both these terms talk about the ...
0
votes
2answers
2k views

What is the name for words that are only used in a certain order even though switching them would be grammatically correct? [duplicate]

E.g. hammer and anvil, and part and parcel. Unlike a normal cliche all of these would make sense if you switched the word order, but no one ever does. I remember seeing a name for this, but can't ...
2
votes
0answers
65 views

Why does "north" come before "south", and "black" before "white"? [duplicate]

This website is common in both north and south America. Or is this better? This website is common in both south and north America. Let's ask Google: "in north and south": 26,800,00 hits "in ...
2
votes
0answers
44 views

Why "milk and sugar", but rarely "sugar and milk"? [duplicate]

For example "Adam and Eve" is (almost) never said as "Eve and Adam". Making tea: "milk or sugar", but rarely "sugar or milk". Elevator: "up or down" is more common than "down or up". Some groupings ...
48
votes
7answers
16k views

Why the phrase "thunder and lightning", and not "lightning and thunder"?

So there was just a thunderstorm, and my sister came with a question I couldn't answer: Why is it "thunder and lightning", because the lightning comes before the thunder? Shouldn't it be "lightning ...
19
votes
2answers
4k views

Term for words like "Hanky-Panky" [duplicate]

Is there a name for these kind of doubled words? For example: hanky-panky flim-flam hoity-toity boo-hoo zig-zag Note that some rhyme and others do not.
2
votes
4answers
32k views

Is "forth and back" more proper than "back and forth"?

I think the term "back and forth" gets thrown around a lot without much thought. From Dictionary.com: forth    [fawrth, fohrth] adverb 1. onward or outward in place or space; forward: to ...
5
votes
2answers
6k views

Why "a" bow and arrow?

Anyone who's watched CW's Arrow would recognize this line immediately: They've got guns. You've got a bow and arrow. They never say a bow and arrows. They never say a bow and an arrow. They say a ...
6
votes
3answers
986 views

Which comes first: cat or dog?

Which comes first in a sentence? I know some word pairs such as bacon and eggs, where bacon always comes first. E.g: Make me bacon and eggs for dinner, honey. Cats and dogs are the two most ...
6
votes
2answers
2k views

Name for a type of idiom with two things joined (like "raining cats and dogs", "bread and butter")

I had heard, a number of years ago, that there is a name for an type of idiomatic expression in which two things are joined to refer to one thing. An example of this would be “raining cats and dogs”. ...
5
votes
2answers
184 views

Is there any rule which dictates the ordering of non-proper, non-pronoun nouns in a list?

For example, Is "Design, Operation, and Management," as equally good of a list as "Management, Operation, and Design?" My colleagues and I are having a tough time reasoning why one sounds better ...
1
vote
2answers
125 views

On reading "The Sacred"

Sacred is an adjective (Random House Dictionary, 1967). It would seem that one cannot let te word simply dangle: it must refer to something (as in: the sacred land; the sacred text.) Yet the (...

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