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What is the origin of the phrase "due east"?

The sense of due in due east/south etc. appears to be of nautical origin: due (adv.): 1590s, "duly," from due (adj.). In reference to points of the compass, "directly, exactly" (...
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7 votes
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Is the phrase “nitty-gritty” racist?

Coverage of 'nitty-gritty' in slang dictionaries J.L. Lighter, Random House Historical Dictionary of American Slang (1997) has entries for nitty-gritty as a noun and for nitty-gritty as an adjective, ...
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8 votes

Is the phrase “nitty-gritty” racist?

The earliest reference for nitty-gritty is 1940, by which time there were no slave ships. The "racist" origins seem to be the inventions of a fevered mind. The OED* has Forms: 1900s– ...
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-2 votes

Origins of "You Got This" and "Wait For It"

"You Got This!" - Movie 8 Mile with Eminem, friend encouraging Rabbit to Battle at the Shelter RAP Contest.
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3 votes

What is the oldest trick in the book?

The phrase "oldest trick in the book" was used to describe a trick play in football in November 1939, a few months after the Collier's use cited by Sven. "Reports from Champaign ...
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1 vote

When did the term “moral cretin” originate?

The term was use in the Chicago Tribune as early as 1865. It was in a response to a Rev. Dr. Hatfield asking "Is there a man who is an actor, and has a respectable character? Who is there in this ...
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1 vote

Origin of the "angry/excited" meaning of "go nonlinear"

It seems more likely to have come from stress tests in engineering than from mathematics or computing. When you put a material under increasing stress or strain, it will at first react in a linear way;...
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0 votes

What is the origin of the saying “Chop chop suey suey”?

Using the power of Twitter, I found some examples of people saying "chop chop suey suey" (sometimes with more "chop" or less "suey") to mean "hurry up". It's ...
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7 votes

Origin of the "angry/excited" meaning of "go nonlinear"

William Safire, writing for the New York Times in 1990, gives us the article On Language; Hitting Today's Ceiling, which explains the origin: Let us turn to physics and computer technology to help us ...
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5 votes

Origin of the "angry/excited" meaning of "go nonlinear"

The term derives from mathematics. Linear processes are ones that progress in a simple additive way. For example a linear series 1, 2, 3 … may be reasonably confidently predicted to develop as … 4, 5, ...
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