Search found 2528 matches

by Jonathon Green
Sat Feb 24, 1996 8:00 am
Forum: Ask the Wordwizard Archive
Topic: non-sequitte
Replies: 1
Views: 1539

non-sequitte

A non sequitur, the literal translation of the Latin ‘it does not follow’ is an inference or a conclusion which does not follow from the premise that has just been laid down. As far as this spelling goes, I can only put it down to comical artistic licensne, and/or a pun on the standard term ‘quitter...
by Jonathon Green
Sat Feb 24, 1996 8:00 am
Forum: Ask the Wordwizard Archive
Topic: Ur-
Replies: 1
Views: 1428

Ur-

The prefix ur- means ‘primitive, original, earliest’ and refers to the ancient Sumerian city of Ur of the Chaldees, which flourished around 3500BC. It remained one of the major cities of the known world for another thousand years before it was captured by Sargon of Akkad c. 2340BC. The subsequent am...
by Jonathon Green
Mon Feb 19, 1996 8:00 am
Forum: Ask the Wordwizard Archive
Topic: At risk
Replies: 1
Views: 1571

At risk

at risk The word "risk" comes from the French risque and/or the Italian risco and is linked to the long-dead synonyms risco and risgo, neither of which survived long beyond 1710. It entered the language c. 1650 and its first printed appearance is in the 1661 edition of Thomas Blount's "Glossographia...
by Jonathon Green
Mon Feb 19, 1996 8:00 am
Forum: Ask the Wordwizard Archive
Topic: gestalt
Replies: 1
Views: 1792

gestalt

Gestalt The word comes from the German meaning form, shape or pattern. Such a "shape", "configuration", or "structure" forms a specific whole or unity which cannot be expressed simply in terms of its parts (e.g., in musical terms, it is a melody as distinct from the individual notes that make it up)...
by Jonathon Green
Sun Feb 18, 1996 8:00 am
Forum: Ask the Wordwizard Archive
Topic: Flying by the seat of his pants
Replies: 1
Views: 1359

Flying by the seat of his pants

A phrase that begin as a piece of actual Royal Air Force jargon in the 1930s, but has become equally popular in figurative uses, where it refers to any activity that is undertaken on the basis of instinct rather than expertise. The RAF use originated in an era when airplanes lacked today's sophistic...
by Jonathon Green
Sun Feb 18, 1996 8:00 am
Forum: Ask the Wordwizard Archive
Topic: Jigery-Pokery
Replies: 1
Views: 2991

Jigery-Pokery

This term means deceitful or dishonest activity; other forms include “joukery-cookery” (where “cookery” has the same meaning as when used in “cooking the books”) or “joukery-pawkery”, (using “pawky”, a term meaning tricky, artful, sly or cunning. Its etymology falls into two parts. The first, which ...
by Jonathon Green
Thu Feb 15, 1996 8:00 am
Forum: Ask the Wordwizard Archive
Topic: cucaloris
Replies: 1
Views: 1953

cucaloris

f. Greek kukaloris: the breaking up of light. It is found in the movie business where it is spelt cokuloris but is better known by its abbreviated nickname: a "cookie". It is a light diffuser - a wire-framed sheet of cloth or fabric or a piece of plywood held on a frame - that has been punched with ...
by Jonathon Green
Fri Feb 09, 1996 8:00 am
Forum: Ask the Wordwizard Archive
Topic: Here's Looking At You Kid
Replies: 1
Views: 2171

Here's Looking At You Kid

As opposed to the equally popular 'Play It Again Sam' (a line which was never uttered in the movie, and had in fact to wait until popular culture enshrined it in Woody Allen's eponymous stage play and the feature film made from it, released in 1972) this line comes from Casablanca, 1942 starring Hum...