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-3 votes

Whence comes the expression ‘’starve a cold, feed a fever?”

I've always understood it to have nothing to do with eating but everything to do with keeping warm - you feed the fever heat by being warm (and hopefully break the fever) and starve the cold by not ...
apple_bassoon's user avatar
0 votes

Whence comes the expression ‘’starve a cold, feed a fever?”

The saying in English apparently dates back to the 16th century from a dictionary by John Withals: The saying “feed a cold, starve a fever” dates back to a dictionary published by John Withals in ...
Gio's user avatar
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0 votes

What are the nuances of the British expression "gone" used with time, as in "gone 8" or "gone midnight"?

Gone = past, but "gone" is preferable where it avoids repetition of "past" within the time. Gone tends to be more informal. English, and I suspect other languages, is filled with ...
Greybeard's user avatar
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22 votes

Whence comes the expression ‘’starve a cold, feed a fever?”

Robert Hendrickson, The Facts on File Encyclopedia of Word and Phrase Origins, fourth edition (2008) has this relevant entry: feed a cold, starve a fever. The great Greek physician Hippocrates, ...
Sven Yargs's user avatar
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1 vote

In the phrase "the scales have fallen from my eyes" why did they use the word "scales"?

It seems to me that if you look into the eyes of a person with cataracts, what you see is a milky translucency behind the pupil. If you hold up a fish scale to the light, this milky translucency is ...
Greybeard's user avatar
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-1 votes

What is the gender-neutral way of saying “gentlemen’s agreement”?

A gender-neutral way to refer to a "gentlemen's agreement" in English is to say "informal agreement" or "word of honor." Both terms convey the same idea without assuming ...
user521522's user avatar
-1 votes

What is the gender-neutral way of saying “gentlemen’s agreement”?

Pinky promise? Formal agreement?
Ramona Green's user avatar
0 votes

Does the idiom "stop shooting the ball to my opponent" make sense?

Quit making things worse. Or quit adding fuel to the fire. Like quit arguing. Be the first to stop arguing. And deal with the problem. Nothing gonna be fixed by arguing back and forth.
John Martinez's user avatar
6 votes
Accepted

Olympic basketball terms: what does “gutted on the glass and in the paint” mean?

"Gutted on the glass" means that because of their smaller size, Kerr's team couldn't get enough rebounds (balls bouncing off the backboards, which are clear "glass" in most ...
Robusto's user avatar
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0 votes

What's the origin of the idiom "miss the boat"?

There will be no use of the phrase before 1832 as this is when the word “bus” first entered English and all variants, of which "boat" is a later one, refer to some sort of public transport ...
Greybeard's user avatar
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0 votes

Are "zugzwang", "catch-22" and "catch-33" synonyms?

Catch 22 refers to the impossibility of an action, due to a circularity. In the eponymous book, Yossarian cannot successfully plead insanity to forgo dangerous future air raid missions, as a person ...
user517117's user avatar
0 votes

What is the origin of the phrase "grease the skids"?

The idiom emerged in British Columbia coastal oxen logging operations, late 19th century. Skids were logs placed perpendicular across the trail with enough gaps for oxen to find footing. The logging ...
James Glave's user avatar
0 votes

To do what it takes

"Whatever it takes, " is an uncountable, idiomatic, sometimes euphemistic, expression, for improper behavior; in short, going the extra mile, so to speak, criminally, unethically to get ...
Redemption87's user avatar
0 votes

To do what it takes

You can say "I will do what it takes", but the more common is "I will do whatever it takes". Or another way to say "I will do my best".
Svetlana's user avatar
3 votes

To do what it takes

The use of the phrase does not require a statement of the goal, as it is likely that the goal or objective has already been discussed. A well-known use of the phrase is Mario Draghi’s: He [Draghi] ...
Xanne's user avatar
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