Search found 3710 matches

by Ken Greenwald
Mon Jan 24, 2005 11:41 pm
Forum: Word Origins and Meanings
Topic: puny
Replies: 11
Views: 5552

puny

Mel, Welcome back. Don’t know much French, so can’t help you there, but very glad to see your return. It’s been so long I thought that perhaps you were no longer with us, or with anybody – if you know what I mean. Well, things have improved a whole bunch since you left and we no longer have to deal ...
by Ken Greenwald
Mon Jan 24, 2005 10:57 pm
Forum: Word Origins and Meanings
Topic: cheese factor
Replies: 4
Views: 2548

cheese factor

Vladimir, The evolution of ‘cheese factor’ bears some resemblance to the development of ‘sleaze factor,’ which is related to ‘sleazy’ (contemptibly low, mean, or disreputable), where ‘sleaze’ is a backformation of ‘sleazy.’ Also, see factor (‘fear factor,’ ‘safety factor,’ fudge factor,’ . . .) for ...
by Ken Greenwald
Mon Jan 24, 2005 2:50 am
Forum: Word Origins and Meanings
Topic: erythemal
Replies: 5
Views: 1922

erythemal

Chris, In medicine the prefix ‘erythro-’ is a combining form meaning ‘red’ (e.g. ‘erythrocyte,’ a red blood cell). ‘Erythemal’ means “of, pertaining to, or causing ‘erythema.’” And ERYTHEMA is defined as “redness of the skin caused by dilatation and congestion of the capillaries, often a sign of inf...
by Ken Greenwald
Mon Jan 24, 2005 1:54 am
Forum: Word Origins and Meanings
Topic: lunker
Replies: 2
Views: 1376

lunker

Hans Joerg, A ‘lunker’ is sometimes defined as an informal word (but now considered Standard English by many dictionaries) used in angling for ‘a game fish which is unusually large for its kind: a whopper.' It is also used to describe any large specimen (1912) of anything (e.g. animal or other objec...
by Ken Greenwald
Fri Jan 21, 2005 9:09 pm
Forum: Word Origins and Meanings
Topic: Full-blown 'idiomacy' and General Semantics
Replies: 38
Views: 10378

Full-blown 'idiomacy' and General Semantics

Louis, The truth be known, I’m not used to conversing seriously with as poor a communicator and fuzzy thinker (among other things) as you are and, although I truly love to debate, argue, analyze, and discuss, I just don’t have the patience or the desire to continue straining myself to decode your me...
by Ken Greenwald
Thu Jan 20, 2005 7:33 pm
Forum: Word Origins and Meanings
Topic: throw pillows
Replies: 4
Views: 5690

throw pillows

Marsha, Random House defined a 'throw pillow' (1955-60) as “a small pillow placed on a chair, couch, etc., primarily for decoration.” The Oxford English Dictionary also provided the synonyms ‘throw cushion’ and ‘scatter cushion’ (North American). And the idea I am getting is that the sense of ‘throw...
by Ken Greenwald
Thu Jan 20, 2005 5:51 pm
Forum: Word Origins and Meanings
Topic: Full-blown 'idiomacy' and General Semantics
Replies: 38
Views: 10378

Full-blown 'idiomacy' and General Semantics

Louis, It’s a lucky thing that you’ve got Phil around as your interpreter because your presentation has been so muddled that it has been near incomprehensible, at least to me. And if your ‘clarity’ of discourse is any example of what adherence to your philosophy of language produces – count me out! ...
by Ken Greenwald
Thu Jan 20, 2005 6:41 am
Forum: Word Origins and Meanings
Topic: Full-blown 'idiomacy' and General Semantics
Replies: 38
Views: 10378

Full-blown 'idiomacy' and General Semantics

Louis, I know that you think it’s a crime that language is the way that it is, but, other than moaning about it, what as a practical matter do you suggest Dale, or anyone, do with the ‘valuable’ information you have just provided?
by Ken Greenwald
Thu Jan 20, 2005 6:16 am
Forum: Word Origins and Meanings
Topic: origin of truth
Replies: 3
Views: 2268

origin of truth

Roman, I would tell you more, but there’s no a lot more to say other than what you will find if you use the suggested online dictionaries on the left side of our home page.
by Ken Greenwald
Thu Jan 20, 2005 12:50 am
Forum: Word Origins and Meanings
Topic: flop room
Replies: 1
Views: 1939

flop room

Mack, ‘Flop’ as a verb dates back to the 17th century and the noun forms didn’t appear until the 19th and 20th centuries. ‘Flop’ began as a variation on the word ‘flap.’ Both of these words were formed from imitations of a sound (onomatopoeic words) with the ‘flop’ being a bit duller and heavier as ...
by Ken Greenwald
Wed Jan 19, 2005 9:25 pm
Forum: Word Origins and Meanings
Topic: cream of tartar
Replies: 1
Views: 1775

cream of tartar

Sheila, CREAM OF TARTAR is a white, crystalline, water-soluble powder, C4H5KO6, having a pleasant taste and found in grapes and ‘tartars’ from wine making. It is used chiefly as an ingredient in foods (as baking powders and hard candy), medicines, and in electrolytic tinning of metals such as iron a...
by Ken Greenwald
Wed Jan 19, 2005 5:29 am
Forum: Word Origins and Meanings
Topic: Full-blown 'idiomacy' and General Semantics
Replies: 38
Views: 10378

Full-blown 'idiomacy' and General Semantics

Louis, If that was your excuse for an answer to my question, you’re hurtin’. So we’re still waiting, but are rapidly losing hope.
by Ken Greenwald
Tue Jan 18, 2005 7:47 pm
Forum: Word Origins and Meanings
Topic: Full-blown 'idiomacy' and General Semantics
Replies: 38
Views: 10378

Full-blown 'idiomacy' and General Semantics

Louis, I’m very disappointed in you. I would have thought that you would not have looked upon this as a ‘command’ but instead as a golden opportunity to explain yourself – yet the only response we get is some pathetic weaseling about an ‘order.’ We were all expecting your cogent reply. Your big chan...
by Ken Greenwald
Tue Jan 18, 2005 7:59 am
Forum: Word Origins and Meanings
Topic: Full-blown 'idiomacy' and General Semantics
Replies: 38
Views: 10378

Full-blown 'idiomacy' and General Semantics

Erik, It is not what the word means, but what people mean by it – I await with baited breadth what Louis has chosen for his personal meaning of ‘sucre’! Of course, from what I gather, spelling isn’t a high priority either, so this word could be anything – but authoritarian regimentation only stifles...
by Ken Greenwald
Tue Jan 18, 2005 5:53 am
Forum: Word Origins and Meanings
Topic: Full-blown 'idiomacy' and General Semantics
Replies: 38
Views: 10378

Full-blown 'idiomacy' and General Semantics

Louis, Not so fast! If you’re going to be around for some time, which I get the feeling you are, and I’m going to be listening to your vague grumblings about how I am somehow not answering questions that are asked on this website in the proper way, I want to get this settled right now. Find some spe...