Search found 7554 matches

by Erik_Kowal
Thu Dec 14, 2017 2:04 am
Forum: Usage and Writing
Topic: Long jacket
Replies: 5
Views: 27

Re: Long jacket

There's a lot of overlap between a trench coat, a greatcoat and an overcoat. Partly because garment design keeps changing and evolving, there's no consensus regarding the exact definition of each of these descriptors. Based purely on the references I've cited (including the images attached to the ar...
by Erik_Kowal
Wed Dec 13, 2017 5:29 pm
Forum: Usage and Writing
Topic: Long jacket
Replies: 5
Views: 27

Re: Long jacket

by Erik_Kowal
Wed Dec 13, 2017 5:15 am
Forum: Word Origins and Meanings
Topic: The Dibble
Replies: 7
Views: 45

Re: The Dibble

Having never previously heard of or otherwise encountered Officer Dibble or Top Cat, I must withdraw my surmise in the light of this new evidence. My parents failed to have a television in the house during the entirety of their chidren's childhoods. Plainly, they are entirely to blame for my well-in...
by Erik_Kowal
Wed Dec 13, 2017 3:03 am
Forum: Word Origins and Meanings
Topic: The Dibble
Replies: 7
Views: 45

Re: The Dibble

My surmise, without any hard evidence to back it up, is that 'dibble' is a corruption (or perhaps a regional variant of) 'devil'. I've certainly heard southern Irish speakers of English pronounce 'devil' as 'divvil', which isn't that far removed from 'dibble'. For that matter, Manchester is also wit...
by Erik_Kowal
Tue Dec 12, 2017 7:46 pm
Forum: Miscellaneous
Topic: Why English is so hard to learn
Replies: 7
Views: 168

Re: Why English is so hard to learn

There are also far less homonyms in German than in English, although they do exist. Most differ in grammatical gender, so there is little chance of confusion and still less chance of punning, which is a rare form of humor in Germany (no comments, please). Ha. Near the house I live in is a neighbour...
by Erik_Kowal
Tue Dec 12, 2017 5:06 pm
Forum: Usage and Writing
Topic: Skateboarding
Replies: 2
Views: 158

Re: Skateboarding

It's a bowl in a skatepark. Wikipedia has a handy list of skatepark-related terminology.
by Erik_Kowal
Sun Dec 10, 2017 5:57 pm
Forum: Usage and Writing
Topic: Sniper
Replies: 3
Views: 53

Re: Sniper

I'd call such a person a spotter.
by Erik_Kowal
Sun Dec 10, 2017 5:51 pm
Forum: Usage and Writing
Topic: Fruits
Replies: 6
Views: 108

Re: Fruits

BonnieL wrote:
Sat Dec 09, 2017 11:42 pm
I've never seen a persimmon. Are they sweet or tart?
I've probably eaten about two persimmons in my life. I remember the ripe fruit as having soft-to-mushy, moderately sweet, slightly aromatic flesh encased in a skin that is physically akin to a tomato's.
by Erik_Kowal
Wed Dec 06, 2017 1:57 am
Forum: Word Origins and Meanings
Topic: The bones of his ass
Replies: 4
Views: 117

Re: The bones of his ass

I've never come across this colourful expression before, but I suspect your emaciation hypothesis may be correct. Not only would one's bottom look emaciated, but without much of a layer of cushioning fat or muscle it would be very uncomfortable to sit for long on a hard surface like a wooden bench.
by Erik_Kowal
Tue Dec 05, 2017 12:24 pm
Forum: Miscellaneous
Topic: Why English is so hard to learn
Replies: 7
Views: 168

Re: Why English is so hard to learn

I can think of a few instances in Danish where the meaning of a word changes according to the placement of the stress, but overall that language doesn't have anywhere near as many identically spelled but differently pronounced words as English does. The problem that learners of English encounter wit...
by Erik_Kowal
Tue Dec 05, 2017 12:09 am
Forum: Word Origins and Meanings
Topic: Sea change
Replies: 10
Views: 622

Re: Sea change

I echo Trolley and Bob.

Welcome back, Ken!
by Erik_Kowal
Mon Dec 04, 2017 11:41 am
Forum: Usage and Writing
Topic: Plate
Replies: 2
Views: 86

Re: Plate

Here, 'plate' relates to the same literal object that you quoted a definition for, except that in this context it is also being used metaphorically to mean 'program(me), to-do list, unfinished tasks' etc. (i.e. the contents of the plate).
by Erik_Kowal
Mon Dec 04, 2017 1:22 am
Forum: Word Origins and Meanings
Topic: scot-free
Replies: 2
Views: 73

Re: scot-free

Being unaware of the etymology of scot in this context I'd never previously made the connection, but there's another descendant of the Old Norse root word that is still very much alive and well in Danish, namely skat, which means tax, treasure or darling, depending on the context. As for White House...
by Erik_Kowal
Mon Dec 04, 2017 1:06 am
Forum: Welcome to the Clubhouse
Topic: The new style Clubhouse and site
Replies: 21
Views: 1311

Re: The new style Clubhouse and site

Phil White wrote:
Sun Dec 03, 2017 7:30 pm
I shall have a look at where I can change the text to something with a little more decorum...
Howdy-doody?
by Erik_Kowal
Fri Dec 01, 2017 5:35 pm
Forum: Usage and Writing
Topic: Ashtray
Replies: 5
Views: 128

Re: Ashtray

I'd go with notch, groove or recess. My sense is that this feature of an ashtray is not often given any thought by most people, so it lacks a particular term to describe it in everyday usage. Maybe there is a different technical term for it that is used by ashtray designers, but if so I don't know it.