Search found 63 matches

by nicktecky
Tue Apr 24, 2007 12:12 pm
Forum: Word Origins and Meanings
Topic: responsibility
Replies: 17
Views: 2479

responsibility

Aren't we talking about constraints? The storm is unconstrained so can't be responsible, it just is. If harm is caused by one system to another, then responsibility rests on the system that acted outside its constraints. In political terms one can imagine a nesting of systems and their associated co...
by nicktecky
Wed Apr 11, 2007 8:28 am
Forum: Word Origins and Meanings
Topic: orient vs. orientate
Replies: 61
Views: 28791

orient vs. orientate

I think you'll also find that more than half of the world's population are in left-driving jurisdictions. The vital message that a gentleman always keeps his sword arm free to defend his lady seems to have been lost on our transatlantic chums. And there's never been any fathoming the French. Perhaps...
by nicktecky
Sun Mar 18, 2007 9:11 am
Forum: Word Origins and Meanings
Topic: crocus cloth / emery cloth
Replies: 1
Views: 5866

crocus cloth / emery cloth

Re: two different substances with the same name. Lead Chromate is toxic, so my guess is the commercial product 'crocus cloth' has had it replaced by the much safer Ferric Oxide. It is still extant as a product being listed by 3M, although they call it "crocus" sandpaper. So maybe we'll need a Campai...
by nicktecky
Wed Mar 14, 2007 12:15 pm
Forum: Word Origins and Meanings
Topic: The coming of the iron horse
Replies: 10
Views: 2277

The coming of the iron horse

It is hers!
And jealously guarded!!
But that's another story!!!
by nicktecky
Wed Mar 14, 2007 12:13 pm
Forum: Word Origins and Meanings
Topic: cut some slack
Replies: 11
Views: 5079

cut some slack

Back to the seaside for a mo: Having googled around for an hour or so, I can report the following: A sail is made up of panels, and the joins can be either vertical or horizontal. A sail will be either cut vertically or horizontally (or crosscut). The cut is also the shape of the physical cut made i...
by nicktecky
Tue Mar 13, 2007 10:54 am
Forum: Word Origins and Meanings
Topic: cut some slack
Replies: 11
Views: 5079

cut some slack

And I thought it was going to be simple! My nautical conjecture was about cutting ropes in the event of a sudden squall, I must admit to a little mid 19th century schooner romanticism; too many pirate films as a lad no doubt! However, what about "I don't like the cut of your jib, sir"? Woosteresque ...
by nicktecky
Fri Mar 09, 2007 7:54 pm
Forum: Word Origins and Meanings
Topic: cut some slack
Replies: 11
Views: 5079

cut some slack

Whilst cogitating on matters nautical, I assumed this phrase originated from sailing vessels. Cutting a sheet in a high wind to slacken the sail seemed to me to be a likely origin, but thinking further, it didn't seem to add up.
Any ideas?
Perhaps tailoring?
by nicktecky
Fri Mar 09, 2007 7:43 pm
Forum: Word Origins and Meanings
Topic: The coming of the iron horse
Replies: 10
Views: 2277

The coming of the iron horse

A rusty relic sits atop my wife's wardrobe as I speak. Red it is and made by Tri-ang.

Sigh...

Simple joys.
by nicktecky
Fri Mar 02, 2007 10:41 am
Forum: Usage and Writing
Topic: possessive of Arkansas / other words ending in S
Replies: 50
Views: 9718

possessive of Arkansas / other words ending in S

Earl's Court and Barons Court underground stations, what's that about?
by nicktecky
Fri Mar 02, 2007 10:37 am
Forum: Word Origins and Meanings
Topic: Squatelings local dialect word from Sussex
Replies: 6
Views: 2446

Squatelings local dialect word from Sussex

Just a thought...
-lings is a common traditional suffix.
Having said that my mind has gone blank, all I can think of is chitterlings.
I believe it is a diminuitive, and non-plural.
Perhaps others have more part-matches with your word.
by nicktecky
Mon Feb 26, 2007 10:59 am
Forum: Word Origins and Meanings
Topic: under way / underway
Replies: 9
Views: 2919

under way / underway

It appears nobody has posted what 'way' now specifically means nautically: Way is the speed of a vessel RELATIVE TO THE WATER. We have to make 4 knots of way for safe steerage: the vessel has to go that fast through the water for the rudder to work effectively. This is important for safety reasons w...
by nicktecky
Wed Feb 21, 2007 12:56 pm
Forum: Word Origins and Meanings
Topic: Nothing to see here
Replies: 13
Views: 4755

Nothing to see here

Surely, I have heard this used in NYPD, long before South Park? One problem discovering the origin is what I'll call the "Sweeney" effect: The 1970's cop show was so widely watched and admired by police officers, that they started to ape the actions and catchphrases of the characters, as the writers...
by nicktecky
Sun Feb 18, 2007 12:08 pm
Forum: Word Origins and Meanings
Topic: direct (adv)vs directly (adv)
Replies: 7
Views: 4082

direct (adv)vs directly (adv)

Direct is used in the UK as an adverb when referring to travel services. "The 1430 is a direct train from London to Bristol" "The 1430 goes direct from London to Bristol" which may be used interchangeably. I would theorise that 'directly' is avoided in this context because of the possibility of conf...
by nicktecky
Sun Feb 18, 2007 11:58 am
Forum: Word Origins and Meanings
Topic: Sturm und Drang
Replies: 6
Views: 2043

Sturm und Drang

Let's not forget 'Deathwish Drang' from "Bill, The Galactic Hero" by Harry Harrison
by nicktecky
Sun Feb 18, 2007 11:53 am
Forum: Word Origins and Meanings
Topic: make down / make up (a bed)
Replies: 24
Views: 5039

make down / make up (a bed)

As if any further validation was needed... 'Made up' as in 'very pleased' was heard twice in the last few days, on each of those twin bastions of British popular culture: Coronation Street and The Archers. From the lips of Fizz and Sid , respectively. Strangely, Fizz is from Manchester and Sid from ...