Search found 7948 matches

by Erik_Kowal
Sun May 15, 2005 6:45 pm
Forum: Word Origins and Meanings
Topic: The meaning of the word "Abu" and "areba"
Replies: 16
Views: 4416

The meaning of the word "Abu" and "areba"

If we are going to have any more requests for us to interpret what people are saying when they 'speak in tongues', we will definitely need a separate, dedicated forum for the purpose. My provisional forum title is 'Mumbo-Jumbo', but I'm open to suggestions.
by Erik_Kowal
Sun May 15, 2005 6:38 pm
Forum: Usage and Writing
Topic: kindly requested to kindly...
Replies: 11
Views: 7139

kindly requested to kindly...

I would probably write, "We would greatly appreciate your prompt response to our previous letter."

This has no threatening undertone, but still conveys the strength of the writer's notion that conventional letter-writing etiquette must be followed.
by Erik_Kowal
Sat May 14, 2005 9:45 am
Forum: Word Origins and Meanings
Topic: nosy body / nosy-body
Replies: 7
Views: 8112

nosy body / nosy-body

I've just re-read that 'sliding pond' discussion you cited, Ken, and now have one or two additional comments to make. The first is that the transmutation in the New York area of the Dutch 'bann'/'baan' into 'pond' may well have been helped along by the fact that a metal slide is smooth and shiny, ju...
by Erik_Kowal
Sat May 14, 2005 2:20 am
Forum: Word Origins and Meanings
Topic: The meaning of the word "Abu" and "areba"
Replies: 16
Views: 4416

The meaning of the word "Abu" and "areba"

What's the context?
by Erik_Kowal
Thu May 12, 2005 5:38 am
Forum: Miscellaneous
Topic: How do you pronounce 'Confirm'?
Replies: 6
Views: 5038

How do you pronounce 'Confirm'?

I know someone who is perfectly literate, but still tends to say 'acrost' instead of 'across'. Beats me why -- the spelling is perfectly unmistakable. Now imagine a scene that might have taken place when Rodgers and Hammerstein were collaborating on South Pacific : Rodgers: We need some more romance...
by Erik_Kowal
Thu May 12, 2005 4:08 am
Forum: Usage and Writing
Topic: ol' instead of Old
Replies: 3
Views: 6443

ol' instead of Old

Or what about plain ol' 'N', as in "N'Orleans"?
by Erik_Kowal
Wed May 11, 2005 4:33 pm
Forum: Word Origins and Meanings
Topic: denim and corduroy
Replies: 21
Views: 4687

denim and corduroy

I had always thought Aberflyhalf was a scrummy place near Rugby.
by Erik_Kowal
Wed May 11, 2005 10:57 am
Forum: Word Origins and Meanings
Topic: origin of the usage P.U.
Replies: 14
Views: 6132

origin of the usage P.U.

Very well spotted, Bob! I did not notice that! :-D
by Erik_Kowal
Wed May 11, 2005 5:05 am
Forum: Word Origins and Meanings
Topic: origin of the usage P.U.
Replies: 14
Views: 6132

origin of the usage P.U.

My hypothesis -- and it is only an impression, not a thoroughly-researched theory -- is that 'P.U.' (which as far as I have been able to observe is a purely American term) is a kind of exaggerated interjection of disgust which has been influenced jointly by 'poo' (= 'shit'), 'pooh!' (another interje...
by Erik_Kowal
Tue May 10, 2005 10:08 pm
Forum: Word Origins and Meanings
Topic: denim and corduroy
Replies: 21
Views: 4687

denim and corduroy

Because you are a republican at heart and do not wish to be associated with 'corde du roi' or any other trappings of the monarchy?

I just know the Queen wears corduroy underpants! That's what has kept Prince Philip so attentive all these years! :-D
by Erik_Kowal
Tue May 10, 2005 6:35 pm
Forum: Word Origins and Meanings
Topic: denim and corduroy
Replies: 21
Views: 4687

denim and corduroy

One of the most remarkable civil engineering feats within living memory whose achievement depended considerably on corduroy/log roads to cope with waterlogged terrain was the construction of the Alaska Highway following the attack on Pearl Harbor.

Just slightly before your time, Ken!
by Erik_Kowal
Mon May 09, 2005 6:28 pm
Forum: Miscellaneous
Topic: Seeking a word
Replies: 15
Views: 3944

Seeking a word

This is rather curious -- Russ Cable and Dale Hileman are the two people who most recently contributed postings to this thread according to 'Active Topics', but nothing recent from either of them shows up when you click on the thread. I wonder how this posting will fare?
by Erik_Kowal
Mon May 09, 2005 7:47 am
Forum: Miscellaneous
Topic: Seeking a word
Replies: 15
Views: 3944

Seeking a word

William, which do you like the sound of more? 'Benevolent', or 'despot'? :-)

PS -- Do give our regards to John Bolton!
by Erik_Kowal
Sun May 08, 2005 9:21 pm
Forum: Miscellaneous
Topic: Seeking a word
Replies: 15
Views: 3944

Seeking a word

Actually, this word is normally spelt 'parliamentarian'. :-)
by Erik_Kowal
Sun May 08, 2005 10:19 am
Forum: Miscellaneous
Topic: skinned alive
Replies: 22
Views: 6591

skinned alive

You are quite right, it sounds extremely weird.

Not only that, but I don't see the relevance of your question to a forum that is primarily devoted to the meaning and etymology of English words and expressions.