Search found 1740 matches

by tony h
Thu Mar 23, 2006 4:46 pm
Forum: Word Origins and Meanings
Topic: moon - the origin of the word
Replies: 5
Views: 1550

moon - the origin of the word

A good old Anglo-saxon word Mona
by tony h
Thu Mar 23, 2006 4:38 pm
Forum: Word Origins and Meanings
Topic: Titles and office
Replies: 8
Views: 1226

Titles and office

Listening to an American newsreader I heard the phrase “President Bush” and wondered when the office became a title in that country. In England we say “The Prime Minister Mr Blair” which neatly separates the office from the person who is holding that office. But “Prime Minister Blair” raises our hac...
by tony h
Thu Mar 23, 2006 1:27 pm
Forum: Usage and Writing
Topic: further or farther
Replies: 16
Views: 4024

further or farther

Yes Newton thought that Hooke went far further than he oughta but no suggestion that he had a fur farther.
by tony h
Wed Mar 22, 2006 4:44 pm
Forum: Usage and Writing
Topic: further or farther
Replies: 16
Views: 4024

further or farther

Dear Ken, The Isaac Newton phrase is so misunderstood. Robert Hooke was keeper of experiments (or some such title) at the Royal Society and, able though he undoubtly was, he did take to trying to take some of the credit for Newton's work. Hoyle was a shortish, round-shouldered person (clearly no gia...
by tony h
Wed Mar 22, 2006 4:20 pm
Forum: Usage and Writing
Topic: Possessive Adjectives and objects
Replies: 9
Views: 2356

Possessive Adjectives and objects

I do wish children were educated in such lack of clarity. I often look at documents where the context is much less clear. A simple variation on your phrase allows for additional contextual ambiguity. "The children went to their homes" whereas with coats the context would seem to be that each child p...
by tony h
Wed Mar 22, 2006 12:49 pm
Forum: Word Origins and Meanings
Topic: knockoff / knock off
Replies: 32
Views: 4616

knockoff / knock off

maybe in the village of Knock with some knockwurst brought over from Germany.
by tony h
Wed Mar 22, 2006 9:39 am
Forum: Word Origins and Meanings
Topic: knockoff / knock off
Replies: 32
Views: 4616

knockoff / knock off

Some one should be able to do better : It was five O'Clock when he knocked off having knocked out a caption to accompany the knock out girl with the large knockers that adorned his page of the rag. He stopped by the market where he purchase a knock off Victorian knocker for his new front door. The l...
by tony h
Tue Mar 21, 2006 3:03 pm
Forum: Word Origins and Meanings
Topic: buff (muscular)
Replies: 1
Views: 1003

buff (muscular)

Not quite sure but here is a suggestion. "In the buff" is to be nude. Buffed is polished (like a piece of furniture). Muscle men (and ladies) annoint themselves with (I believe) oil in order to show off their muscles. So maybe the lack of clothes or the polished look of a body-builders body may be t...
by tony h
Tue Mar 21, 2006 2:52 pm
Forum: Word Origins and Meanings
Topic: looking for a word for 'creating a word'...
Replies: 7
Views: 1089

looking for a word for 'creating a word'...

Although most users of the word misuse it after almost every hackneyed phrase. As in-correctly "a bird in the hand is worth two in a bush - to coin a phrase"
by tony h
Tue Mar 21, 2006 2:45 pm
Forum: Word Origins and Meanings
Topic: knockoff / knock off
Replies: 32
Views: 4616

knockoff / knock off

We use the phrase knock-up to mean to mean a rude fabrication ie something which is put together with only care for efficacy rather than craftsmanship. Knock-off (within the general context being discussed) means to make a passable copy. A knocker-upper is someone who was employed as an alarm clock ...
by tony h
Mon Mar 20, 2006 5:34 pm
Forum: Word Origins and Meanings
Topic: Spend more time with [one's] family
Replies: 15
Views: 2259

Spend more time with [one's] family

The usual usage for it here is during a period of employment. It occurs (especially in public service organisations : government, police, health service etc) when somebody does something which requires them to be removed from office while their conduct is investigated, particularly following a charg...
by tony h
Mon Mar 20, 2006 9:39 am
Forum: Word Origins and Meanings
Topic: Spend more time with [one's] family
Replies: 15
Views: 2259

Spend more time with [one's] family

The phrase "spend more time with the family" is the public response to the private question of "and how is your graden?", suggesting that the person should need to spend more time on their garden, to "gardening leave" and possibly a tie-up with that equine state of "put out to grass"
by tony h
Sat Mar 18, 2006 10:00 pm
Forum: Word Origins and Meanings
Topic: Polotaswarf
Replies: 17
Views: 3717

Polotaswarf

Well! I am impressed. And of course the Kingsley reference is where I came across the word. I have also trimmed the goose quill and laid ink on paper to a non-online Norse friend, if that turns up anything more I will let you know. I had assumed that the major problem in finding a reference on-line ...
by tony h
Thu Mar 16, 2006 3:48 pm
Forum: Word Origins and Meanings
Topic: cleaned his clock
Replies: 24
Views: 18676

cleaned his clock

I have only just come to this debate but it really seems straightforward, the phrase having been in regular use amongst some of the more uncouth elements. A clock is a "face" to "clean your clock" is figuratively to "wipe my fists all over your face" ie with the ease of cleaning. It is a threat of o...
by tony h
Thu Mar 16, 2006 3:33 pm
Forum: Word Origins and Meanings
Topic: Polotaswarf
Replies: 17
Views: 3717

Polotaswarf

as in get my Polotaswarf out of the Kaiser's treasure

what on earth is a Polotaswarf and how should it be pronounced?

Regards