Search found 3681 matches

by Ken Greenwald
Tue Jan 11, 2005 6:05 pm
Forum: Word Origins and Meanings
Topic: up for it
Replies: 18
Views: 2891

up for it

Dale, I have never heard ‘up for it’ used to mean ‘meriting candidacy.’ Do you have anything to back this up or is it just your feeling from this one quote? And it would be nice if when you gave a quote, you told us where it came from. Was it said by some semiliterate guy in a drug bust or was it th...
by Ken Greenwald
Tue Jan 11, 2005 8:27 am
Forum: Word Origins and Meanings
Topic: gorgeous
Replies: 2
Views: 2001

gorgeous

Anne and Wiz, When it comes to ‘gorgeous,’ there might be more to it than meets the eye. (<) I found this very interesting piece in: Merriam-Webster New Book of Word Histories GORGEOUS: It is not hard to see why ‘gurges,’ the Latin word for ‘whirlpool,’ should have come in Late Latin (about the 3r...
by Ken Greenwald
Tue Jan 11, 2005 1:13 am
Forum: Word Origins and Meanings
Topic: Draconian
Replies: 4
Views: 2800

Draconian

John, Since Draconian/draconian has such an interesting origin, might as well do the full monty anyway for those who may be interested. DRACONIAN/draconian: ‘Draconian’ is still regularly used to refer to any law, measure, or rule of authority that is excessively severe, harsh, or cruel. <“Some cons...
by Ken Greenwald
Mon Jan 10, 2005 11:04 pm
Forum: Word Origins and Meanings
Topic: Draconian
Replies: 4
Views: 2800

Draconian

John, Relative to your initial confusion, here is a little piece on ‘dracontology.’ _____________________________ Michael Quinion’s Word Wide Words DRACONTOLOGY: Strictly speaking, ‘dracontology’ should refer to the study of dragons. It derives from Greek ‘drakon,’ serpent (plus ‘–ology’ from a Gree...
by Ken Greenwald
Mon Jan 10, 2005 6:16 pm
Forum: Word Origins and Meanings
Topic: up for it
Replies: 18
Views: 2891

up for it

Dale, What does 'Meriting Candidacy' have to do with anything? When you drop stuff in a posting, try to make clear what it is and where it came, what’s the context. Or did you just make this up? If so, say so and explain yourself.
______________________

Ken - January 10, 2005
by Ken Greenwald
Mon Jan 10, 2005 1:29 am
Forum: Word Origins and Meanings
Topic: get someone's number / have someone's number
Replies: 1
Views: 2429

get someone's number / have someone's number

Vladimir, To GET SOMEONE’S NUMBER or to HAVE SOMEONE’S NUMBER means to have been perceptive and astute enough to have figured out the hidden truth about a person’s character, motives, behavior, or past; to have classified or identified a person as a type; to have made an accurate assessment/appraisa...
by Ken Greenwald
Sun Jan 09, 2005 10:59 pm
Forum: Word Origins and Meanings
Topic: Victorian bitch
Replies: 2
Views: 2536

Victorian bitch

Diane, There is absolutely no doubt that ‘bitch’ was used in Victorian times (Queen Victoria reigned form 1837 to 1901) to describe a malicious, spiteful, promiscuous (‘prostitute’ and beyond), or otherwise despicable women. The use of the word as a derogatory term for ‘woman’ (an unpleasant one) be...
by Ken Greenwald
Sun Jan 09, 2005 9:02 pm
Forum: Word Origins and Meanings
Topic: up for it
Replies: 18
Views: 2891

up for it

Steven, UP FOR IT means to be in a state of enthusiastic or confident readiness, willingness, or availability to partake in a particular activity: “Let’s go. I’m up for it.” The expression also often appears with the ‘it’ replaced by what it was that one was up for: “Are you up for going out for som...
by Ken Greenwald
Sat Jan 08, 2005 10:47 pm
Forum: Word Origins and Meanings
Topic: the meanings of colours
Replies: 2
Views: 2396

the meanings of colours

Thanks Hannah, The color article is very interesting and I hadn’t seen it before. Michael Quinion’s ‘World Wide Words’ and Evan Morris’ ‘Word Detective’ are two of my favorite word websites (beside ours, of course). Quinion sends out a free e-mail newsletter, which I read every week and highly recom...
by Ken Greenwald
Sat Jan 08, 2005 8:49 am
Forum: Word Origins and Meanings
Topic: fiddley deck
Replies: 2
Views: 1825

fiddley deck

Paul, The OED and M-W define ‘fiddley’ as follows: “The iron framework round the deck opening that leads to the stoke-hole of a steamer; usually covered by a grating of iron bars; the space below this.” They give no derivation, but the answer appears to me to be pretty straightforward. ‘Fiddley’ is ...
by Ken Greenwald
Sat Jan 08, 2005 12:28 am
Forum: Word Origins and Meanings
Topic: giv'us a deck.
Replies: 4
Views: 1251

giv'us a deck.

DEKKO/DECKO noun [late 19th century and still in use]: a look, a view [Hindustani ‘dekho,’ look]

DECK noun [mid-19th century and still in use]: look, a galnce (cf. 'dekko') [Hindustani 'dekha,' sight]
_______________________________

(Cassell’s Dictionary of Slang)
by Ken Greenwald
Fri Jan 07, 2005 10:52 pm
Forum: Word Origins and Meanings
Topic: chimerical
Replies: 8
Views: 2228

chimerical

Nadia, First here’s the 'true' definition and modern usages of ‘chimerical': CHIMERICAL: 1) Being, relating to, or like a chimera; created by or as if by a wildly fanciful imagination; highly improbable; unreal and existing only as the product of wild unrestrained imagination – imaginary <His Utopia...
by Ken Greenwald
Fri Jan 07, 2005 7:19 pm
Forum: Word Origins and Meanings
Topic: pancake
Replies: 3
Views: 1437

pancake

‘Pain’ does mean bread in French, but I’m not up on my French etymology enough to know if there is a connection to ‘pan’ and ‘pancake.’ However, I did find that, before 1400 ‘pancake’ was sometimes referred to as ‘pankakus,’ a Latinate form, which BTW earlier showed up as surname ‘Panecak’ and ‘Pane...
by Ken Greenwald
Fri Jan 07, 2005 7:55 am
Forum: Word Origins and Meanings
Topic: follow the straight and narrow
Replies: 2
Views: 1347

follow the straight and narrow

Also, the ‘life’ in "Strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life" in Matthew 7:14 refers to ‘salvation’ and the ‘straight and narrow’ or ‘straight and narrow path’ or ‘walk the straight and narrow path’ was largely a Victorian concept of rectitude, which became current in the ...
by Ken Greenwald
Fri Jan 07, 2005 2:54 am
Forum: Word Origins and Meanings
Topic: commonwealth vs. state
Replies: 4
Views: 2740

commonwealth vs. state

The following is from The Encyclopedia Britannica: COMMONWEALTH: A body politic founded on law for the common “weal,” or good. The term was often used by 17th-century writers, for example, Thomas Hobbes and John Locke, to signify the concept of the organized political community. For them it meant mu...