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What does "rule" mean in "the rule of law"?

It's the second without a shadow of a doubt, the law includes rules and it's never a rule itself, law is a philosophical principle derived from not even morality but equality, the general will and ...
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4 votes

What does "rule" mean in "the rule of law"?

Apparently its origin is from Ancient Greece. Its meaning refers to the concept of being ruled by the law rather than a leader. The Rule of Law has its origins in ancient Greece and, more ...
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2 votes

What is the animal adjective relating to tegu lizards (salvatorine, tupinambine etc.)?

Tegu is an uncommon animal to start with, and the usage of the word is very uncommon within the English language as well (esp. in common parlance). Expecting an animal adjective for a tegu would be ...
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4 votes

What is the animal adjective relating to tegu lizards (salvatorine, tupinambine etc.)?

Neither the extermination nor the expedition are corvine – the prey is. I would say a corvid extermination expedition a tegu extermination expedition This can be exposed with these sentences I ...
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0 votes

"bibs and bobs" - what does it mean and where does it come from?

I agree that the loose change idea may be correct, but here, near Dudley, UK, the term refers to (fabric) bits and bob(bin)s or cheap cuts of meat/offal
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2 votes

Difference between etymologies of 'allocable' and 'allocatable'

The first Merriam-Webster Collegiate Dictionary to take notice of either allocable or allocatable is the fourth edition (1931/1934) which has this listing in its new words section (meaning that it was ...
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0 votes

What could "mucka doozy" mean and where does it come from?

Mucka just means Big. i think it comes from a brand of marbles that was sold in Newburyport. "Mucka Marbles" and they were just bigger than the regular marbles
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5 votes
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What is the origin of the phrase "(strength) on the part of"?

The phrase on the part of (also on a person's part) goes back as early as 1385, first used by Chaucer in his epic poem Troilus and Criseyde. Here is the definition of the phrase and the earliest ...
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7 votes

Where does “beats me” come from?

With regard to early instances of "beats me" as a stand-alone phrase with a meaning along the lines of "astonishes, amazes, or perplexes me," the earliest match for the phrase that ...
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17 votes

Where does “beats me” come from?

This sense of beat goes back as early as c1810 per OED. (c indicates circa here). Although, it was not used as "beats me" in the earliest citation. The origin of "beats me" appears ...
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0 votes

Why does "trip the light fantastic" mean "to dance"?

The word [trip] had long been used to mean 'dance nimbly'. Chaucer used it that way as early as 1386, in The Miller's Tale: In twenty manere koude he trippe and daunce. (In twenty ways could he trip ...
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10 votes

Where does “beats me” come from?

This source, and I believe many other sources do the same, states that the origin of this phrase is unclear: Origin: Mid -19th Century, American English. The origin of this expression is unclear. It ...
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1 vote

Why are "just" and "justice" written with a "j", while "language" is written with a "g", when they all come from Latin?

The adjective "just" and its noun form "justice" also come from Latin. These are the only words Latin origin I am aware of that are spelled with "j", even though "j&...
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7 votes
Accepted

Can "attack-on" be considered a new English word?

As it stands, all the usages of "attack on" you cite are incorrect, if "Place 1" is the target of the attack. The only valid uses of "attack on" are when "attack&...
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6 votes
Accepted

Why are "just" and "justice" written with a "j", while "language" is written with a "g", when they all come from Latin?

The consonant "g" has rules (which have many, many exceptions) about when you pronounce it /g/ and when you pronounce it /dʒ/. When it's before a "u", "o", or "a&...
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0 votes

Origin and variations of "being handed your hat"

Around the turn of the 19th century or so to start a fight in front of an audience a man would toss his hat inside the circle (ring) of persons gathered to see a pugilistic affair indicating he was ...
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1 vote

Lie-Gap for Gap-Toothed

A gap-toothed woman being sexy, or promiscuous, can be traced to Chaucer. Consider the Wife of Bath. https://chaucer.fas.harvard.edu/pages/general-prologue-0 468 Gat-tothed was she, soothly ...
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2 votes
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In the word "plain", what is the metaphor underlying the sense "explicit, clear, evident"?

The English word plain is borrowed from Latin, which had it from two Proto-Indo-European roots, both with the shape *pelə-. One meant To fill; with derivatives referring to abundance and multitude. ...
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0 votes

Put two and two together...and got five?

The phrase : "I may be adding two and two together and getting five" has been around in English for a long time and is used to show that after some thought an incorrect conclusion may have ...
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1 vote

Origins of the phrase “You don't need a weatherman to know which way the wind blows”?

Don't forget that "weatherman" itself is a play on words. What were the weathermen when Mr. Zimmerman wrote the song? The Weather Underground was a small, violent offshoot of Students for a ...
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4 votes
Accepted

What is the meaning and etymology of the phrase "T4"?

As LetEpsilonBeLessThanZero said in the comments, it is short for "Therefore, what?" It's a phrase that points out that the implications of a person's statement is a brag, even if what the ...
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0 votes

Sanitarium vs. Sanatorium

They appear to designate the same thing with sanatorium being recorded somewhat earlier and having, to my mind, a better etymological pedigree: OED sanatorium, n. Etymology: < modern Latin ...
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Might the word "hushpuppy" be a corruption of a Native American word?

Yes. Disregard posters above who didn’t care to actually research it but simply googled it. It’s most likely derived from the Yama trade jargon that was common in the southeast, potentially an eggcorn ...
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3 votes

What are the meaning and possible origin of "word!" and "word up"?

OED says that the slang interjections word and word up are originally U.S., in the language of rap and hip-hop; expressing affirmation, agreement, or admiration. However, the slang terms were used in ...
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5 votes

What's the origin of "-er" vs. "-re" endings?

Noah Webster on '-er' and '-re' word endings (chiefly '-ter' and '-tre') One dedicated opponent of -re endings of the type that the poster has in mind was Noah Webster. Here is his discussion of such ...
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3 votes
Accepted

A drug on the market is not what it seems?

The most probable and supported origin of drug in the idiom 'a drug on the market' (also with 'in') is from French drogue meaning 'a worthless object, an unpleasant object'1, 'trash, rubbish, cheap ...
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0 votes

Etymology of "mullet"?

The jury may still be out a bit on this. But in the meantime: https://www.oed.com/view/Entry/253382
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0 votes

Where does the pejorative meaning of "shower" come from?

The US has the expression 'shit shower', meaning when all went wrong, or we can label a person or persons as a 'shit shower', meaning they can do abs. nothing right.
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1 vote

Smart working, does this word even exist?

I presume you heard it in Italy. I can’t find any references to it in the English-speaking world other than this September 2020 article regarding the phrase. The phrase certainly gained popularity in ...
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