Search found 41 matches

by William Barclay
Sun Jul 03, 2005 10:13 am
Forum: Word Origins and Meanings
Topic: "it was a fluke"
Replies: 15
Views: 6756

"it was a fluke"

Even more to the point, If you have ever fished for flounder, you will know that when you hook one it feels as though you are snagged onto a brick. Thus, when you do manage to pull the brick to the surface and note that (with joy) it is in fact a flounder and not a brick, then it is all the more a "...
by William Barclay
Sun Jun 05, 2005 4:16 am
Forum: Usage and Writing
Topic: Do the 'Naughties' come after the 90s?
Replies: 14
Views: 6224

Do the 'Naughties' come after the 90s?

“Politically speaking, the 70s were a difficult period in our history.” “I prefer music from the 50s.” It is simple enough to refer to something that took place in the 20s, 30s,....90s, but what do you say when you want to refer to things that happened during the first two decades? A friend suggeste...
by William Barclay
Thu Jun 02, 2005 6:51 am
Forum: Word Origins and Meanings
Topic: dungaree / dungarees
Replies: 11
Views: 11031

dungaree / dungarees

What's that? A song? A rhyme? Hmmmmm.... Everyone loves dungarees Around the world they do please Aborigines Cowboy wannabes Even the Senegalese Everyone loves dungarees And though that’s no mystery to me The word wizards muse Its meaning and use But I just wear them to please Everyone loves dungare...
by William Barclay
Thu Jun 02, 2005 3:04 am
Forum: Miscellaneous
Topic: THE
Replies: 26
Views: 8531

THE

'The'; is quite unnecessary, really. Without meaning to sound arrogant, I speak four languages that do not use the word ‘the’ at all, and had it not been for your post I wouldn’t have given it a second thought. In fact, if you think about it, the word ‘the’ is not only unnecessary, it also puts Engl...
by William Barclay
Thu Jun 02, 2005 2:28 am
Forum: Word Origins and Meanings
Topic: stand a chance
Replies: 9
Views: 3908

stand a chance

I heard a newscaster use this expression this morning (“they wouldn’t stand a chance”) and realised that it was a rather odd expression, difficult to decipher literally. Does anyone have any ideas of its origin?

PS. I did run a search and found nothing.
by William Barclay
Thu May 26, 2005 10:49 am
Forum: Word Origins and Meanings
Topic: menace to society
Replies: 4
Views: 4204

menace to society

No takers??

Okay, allow me….

…my sources tell me that the origins can be traced back to the early 1960s with Dennis being somewhat of a menace to poor Ol' Mr. Wilson. However, by the mid-70s, when he reached his late teens, he had become a “menace to society”.

Voilla!
by William Barclay
Thu May 26, 2005 9:04 am
Forum: Miscellaneous
Topic: reservoir dogs
Replies: 9
Views: 4350

reservoir dogs

mia culpa

"flip, flick, flip, flick...

try saying that 10 times.
by William Barclay
Thu May 26, 2005 7:07 am
Forum: Miscellaneous
Topic: reservoir dogs
Replies: 9
Views: 4350

reservoir dogs

Erik

Yesterday it was 'Potter'; today its 'flick'!

Now say after me; "Putter, Flip, Putter, Flip...."
by William Barclay
Wed May 25, 2005 10:14 am
Forum: Usage and Writing
Topic: King James and UK vs US English
Replies: 6
Views: 3698

King James and UK vs US English

I’m looking at a King James translation of the Bible and note with some confusion that the English spelling is distinctly American (e.g., color rather than colour). Does this suggest that there are two versions of the King James Bible; one written in US English and the other in UK English? Are there...
by William Barclay
Wed May 25, 2005 9:43 am
Forum: Usage and Writing
Topic: hunky-dory
Replies: 4
Views: 3442

hunky-dory

I understand the French prefer to Pitter-Patter dans leurs jardins.
by William Barclay
Wed May 25, 2005 8:00 am
Forum: Usage and Writing
Topic: in-laws
Replies: 8
Views: 4303

in-laws

If you're neither an 'In-law' or an 'Out-law', are you a 'bi-law'?
by William Barclay
Mon May 23, 2005 8:25 am
Forum: Usage and Writing
Topic: Stepbrother or Half-brother or both?
Replies: 3
Views: 2845

Stepbrother or Half-brother or both?

Thanks.

To be fair on my wife, I should have mentioned that English is not her first language.

So what's my excuse?
by William Barclay
Mon May 23, 2005 6:52 am
Forum: Usage and Writing
Topic: Stepbrother or Half-brother or both?
Replies: 3
Views: 2845

Stepbrother or Half-brother or both?

I assume this is a no-brainer and one that I could figure out with minimal research, but I thought I’d break the silence… The other day my wife referred to her stepbrother in a conversation with friends. A close friend who knows us well corrected her, saying that the appropriate description was ‘hal...
by William Barclay
Sun May 22, 2005 4:00 am
Forum: Word Origins and Meanings
Topic: dang or dang it
Replies: 13
Views: 5460

dang or dang it

Erik's right.

'Damn', with a Texas twang becomes 'Dang'.

That simple.
by William Barclay
Tue May 17, 2005 8:47 am
Forum: Word Origins and Meanings
Topic: outstanding
Replies: 10
Views: 3798

outstanding

Several thoughts did in fact flash before my eyes. Well, er…the..ah…degree of firmness may indeed be unusual or ‘outstanding’, but how the one relates to the other in terms of origin or meaning is beyond me. Firmness, in this case, does not necessarily assure ‘expansiveness’. If it’s firm but not st...