Search found 7809 matches

by Erik_Kowal
Thu May 26, 2005 9:24 am
Forum: Usage and Writing
Topic: Afrocentric and Eurocentric
Replies: 16
Views: 8203

Afrocentric and Eurocentric

What kind of dish is a 'pizza pie' supposed to be anyway? Surely it's either a pie (i.e. a dish comprising a filling that is baked inside an enclosing crust) or a pizza (a dish whose topping is not enclosed by a crust) -- and is incapable of being both kinds of dish at the same time. I can only conc...
by Erik_Kowal
Thu May 26, 2005 7:12 am
Forum: Miscellaneous
Topic: reservoir dogs
Replies: 9
Views: 3201

reservoir dogs

William, I believe you have me confused with Bobinwales (check the 'Hunky-Dory' thread).

For the record, in Britain we can both flip and flick a coin: "Flip, flick, flip, flick, flip, flick..."
by Erik_Kowal
Thu May 26, 2005 5:35 am
Forum: Miscellaneous
Topic: reservoir dogs
Replies: 9
Views: 3201

reservoir dogs

As far as I know it was a toss-up between Tarantino paying homage to Straw Dogs or to his other rave fave, Kermit the Frog from The Muppet Show. But for the flick of a nickel, we would now be referring to Reservoir Frogs.

Infer what you like.
by Erik_Kowal
Wed May 25, 2005 4:42 pm
Forum: Usage and Writing
Topic: King James and UK vs US English
Replies: 6
Views: 2479

King James and UK vs US English

I would not have thought that 'cable' was a long enough word to be capable of being spelled in so many different ways. But I must be wrong...
by Erik_Kowal
Tue May 24, 2005 10:23 pm
Forum: Word Origins and Meanings
Topic: transparent
Replies: 4
Views: 1353

transparent

It is paradoxical that the apparently straightforward notion of transparency should in practice turn out to be such a murky concept, something that Nabokov too drew attention to in his novel Transparent things . Returning to the examples at hand, it would be desirable that where the context does not...
by Erik_Kowal
Tue May 24, 2005 7:47 pm
Forum: Usage and Writing
Topic: in-laws
Replies: 8
Views: 2903

in-laws

I would say yes; even though the term is colloquial rather than formal, it is universally used and understood, and hence has no connotations that tie its use to particular social sub-groups (in other words, it is not what one could call slang). Now, if you were to say, "Our outlaws are in town for t...
by Erik_Kowal
Tue May 24, 2005 8:34 am
Forum: Word Origins and Meanings
Topic: spring tide
Replies: 4
Views: 1750

spring tide

Which is not to be confused with the Scots 'neeptide', meaning 'turnip harvest'.
by Erik_Kowal
Tue May 24, 2005 7:58 am
Forum: Word Origins and Meanings
Topic: proof
Replies: 5
Views: 1255

proof

Hans Joerg, have you tried bananas flambé yet? Many a pirate must have had his beard singed thereby!
by Erik_Kowal
Tue May 24, 2005 4:21 am
Forum: Usage and Writing
Topic: hunky-dory
Replies: 4
Views: 2480

hunky-dory

Anny, this is not quite the answer you were asking for, but a good starting-point for your query would be to search for hunky-dory using this site's search facility, and then to concentrate on those hits where the phrase appears in the title of the posting. Otherwise, I can best describe the usage a...
by Erik_Kowal
Tue May 24, 2005 2:44 am
Forum: Word Origins and Meanings
Topic: peaceable vs peaceful
Replies: 4
Views: 3637

peaceable vs peaceful

Anny, Russ has a good point there. 'Impecuniously' stands out in his example sentence for its relative unfamiliarity, but it is about as close as you can get to an adverb that approximately means 'in a manner that is the result of financial poverty'.
by Erik_Kowal
Mon May 23, 2005 11:45 pm
Forum: Word Origins and Meanings
Topic: up-or-down vote
Replies: 5
Views: 4401

up-or-down vote

The very same expression has been annoying me too, partly because the context in which it was being used always left me unsure about exactly what was meant. Only when I looked it up in Wikipedia (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Up_down_vote), which took its explanation almost verbatim from the website ...
by Erik_Kowal
Mon May 23, 2005 6:39 pm
Forum: Word Origins and Meanings
Topic: peaceable vs peaceful
Replies: 4
Views: 3637

peaceable vs peaceful

'Peaceful' generally means 'calm, serene, enjoying or favouring peace, belonging to a time of peace', whereas 'peaceable' generally means 'favouring peace', and is frequently applied to people or nations that prefer to lead a quiet existence. The words are partial synonyms. Of the two, 'peaceful' is...
by Erik_Kowal
Mon May 23, 2005 12:28 pm
Forum: Usage and Writing
Topic: Stepbrother or Half-brother or both?
Replies: 3
Views: 2087

Stepbrother or Half-brother or both?

That you are getting to know the family of your better half stepwise, or step-by-step -- in other words, you are only meeting them halfway.
by Erik_Kowal
Sun May 22, 2005 5:24 pm
Forum: Word Origins and Meanings
Topic: dang or dang it
Replies: 13
Views: 4409

dang or dang it

Perhaps so, but it's impossible to darn without a thread.
by Erik_Kowal
Fri May 20, 2005 8:37 pm
Forum: Word Origins and Meanings
Topic: down to
Replies: 6
Views: 1784

down to

Just to amplify the possible connection with bookkeeping that Phil referred to, the Cassell Dictionary of Slang contains the following entry for 'down to':

[1970s+] responsible for. [figurative use of the abbreviation of Standard English 'written down to'].