Search found 7767 matches

by Erik_Kowal
Fri Mar 18, 2005 4:00 am
Forum: Word Origins and Meanings
Topic: Negro, colored, Black, African American, person of color
Replies: 16
Views: 11750

Negro, colored, Black, African American, person of color

Ken, thanks for a clear and succinct summary. A discouraging but ultimately unavoidable conclusion that is suggested by the succession of preferred nomenclatures outlined above is that no change of terminology has been able by itself to raise the perceived status of black people in wider American so...
by Erik_Kowal
Thu Mar 17, 2005 12:43 pm
Forum: Usage and Writing
Topic: analogy vs metaphor
Replies: 19
Views: 66122

analogy vs metaphor

Is this a case of 'bowels within Earth's bowels'?
by Erik_Kowal
Thu Mar 17, 2005 12:36 pm
Forum: Word Origins and Meanings
Topic: mum's the word
Replies: 11
Views: 5207

mum's the word

But presently it is rarely used and looks as though it is headed for the scrap heap – I’m reasonably sure that the average teenager today has absolutely no idea what it means.
I think there must be a difference in current US and UK usage, Ken -- "Mum's the word" is still in common use in Britain.
by Erik_Kowal
Thu Mar 17, 2005 4:13 am
Forum: Word Origins and Meanings
Topic: dude
Replies: 22
Views: 7062

dude

Would it be superfluous for me to draw attention to that other great lexicographical resource, Duden -- Das große Wörterbuch der deutschen Sprache, the definitive dictionary of the German language?
by Erik_Kowal
Thu Mar 17, 2005 3:05 am
Forum: Usage and Writing
Topic: analogy vs metaphor
Replies: 19
Views: 66122

analogy vs metaphor

I suppose it is the Miner Prophets that have made Humpbacked Wales possible... Bob?
by Erik_Kowal
Thu Mar 17, 2005 2:53 am
Forum: Usage and Writing
Topic: beer or beers
Replies: 23
Views: 5729

beer or beers

It must be time to bail out.
by Erik_Kowal
Wed Mar 16, 2005 4:25 am
Forum: Word Origins and Meanings
Topic: gun
Replies: 1
Views: 1007

gun

You will find a good explanation of the etymology at http://www.wordwizard.com/phpbb3/viewto ... hTerms=gun .

As to the history of the gun, revolver, rifle, etc etc, you will find a better online answer to your query using the Wikipedia encyclopedia or similar resource.
by Erik_Kowal
Tue Mar 15, 2005 4:48 pm
Forum: Usage and Writing
Topic: repertory
Replies: 4
Views: 3388

repertory

To answer the last of your most recent points first: Yes, once Marian Anderson is dead, everything she sang belongs to her repertoire.

In order to be precise about the songs she includes in any given concert, I would recommend you use 'program', because this implies a particular selection of pieces.
by Erik_Kowal
Sun Mar 13, 2005 4:13 am
Forum: Word Origins and Meanings
Topic: shoo-in (often misspelled as shoe-in)
Replies: 3
Views: 2843

shoo-in (often misspelled as shoe-in)

Scott,

See the previous discussion on this topic at http://www.wordwizard.com/phpbb3/viewtopic.php?t=17045
by Erik_Kowal
Fri Mar 11, 2005 7:13 pm
Forum: Word Origins and Meanings
Topic: pair
Replies: 8
Views: 1795

pair

Russ, I would contend that the word corresponding to 'trio' and 'quartet' in a musical context is not 'pair' but 'duo'. On the other hand, at least in England it would be perfectly idiomatic for an exasperated mother to exclaim to her misbehaving children, "You make a right pair!" or "What a pair yo...
by Erik_Kowal
Thu Mar 10, 2005 8:48 am
Forum: Word Origins and Meanings
Topic: squeegee
Replies: 12
Views: 3603

squeegee

It is tempting to fantasise that 'squilgee' is a conflation of 'squishy' and 'bilge' that would be very much in keeping with having to deal with congealing-gut-encrusted decking.
by Erik_Kowal
Wed Mar 09, 2005 4:38 am
Forum: Word Origins and Meanings
Topic: rectitude on TV
Replies: 9
Views: 2477

rectitude on TV

If you insist, Dale...! Would you say that a 'pillar of rectitude' could also be called a 'colon'?
by Erik_Kowal
Wed Mar 09, 2005 2:50 am
Forum: Word Origins and Meanings
Topic: coupe and saloon / American vs. British automotive-related terms
Replies: 34
Views: 10241

coupe and saloon / American vs. British automotive-related t

Bozo, 'Tailgating' seems to be a universal term for this universal phenomenon in the English-speaking world. Judging by their hand positions and the movements of their jaws, half the time the moronic perpetrators have poorly-embedded surgical implants in the sides of their heads which they are despe...
by Erik_Kowal
Tue Mar 08, 2005 11:34 pm
Forum: Word Origins and Meanings
Topic: spunky
Replies: 7
Views: 3974

spunky

Hans Joerg, in my view there is a pretty good case to be made that "spunk = semen" directly reflects the second of Ken's senses of the word, namely "spark, spirit, liveliness, animation, full of life, animated". After all, semen is not only literally the carrier of new life, many, especially eastern...
by Erik_Kowal
Tue Mar 08, 2005 11:24 pm
Forum: Word Origins and Meanings
Topic: rectitude on TV
Replies: 9
Views: 2477

rectitude on TV

How about 'weekly'?