Search found 8289 matches

by Erik_Kowal
Fri Sep 23, 2005 9:29 am
Forum: Usage and Writing
Topic: how should I understand
Replies: 2
Views: 2428

how should I understand

This is not an idiomatic English expression, but despite the lack of context for the sentence, its intended meaning seems fairly obvious: for some reason, the speaker's knees are extremely painful, perhaps even to the point of incapacity.
by Erik_Kowal
Fri Sep 23, 2005 9:23 am
Forum: Miscellaneous
Topic: Surname
Replies: 6
Views: 3086

Surname

To me, Dale's posting is a kind of picnic in which he has supplied the words ("Here... Have some more of this delicious Funch-Frey! I made it myself, you know!") and his readers must supply the meaning ("Oh! Funch-Frey! Is that what it is -- I thought you said 'lunch tray'! ...So what's in it, exact...
by Erik_Kowal
Fri Sep 23, 2005 8:04 am
Forum: Usage and Writing
Topic: Grudgingly vs. Begrudgingly
Replies: 8
Views: 27746

Grudgingly vs. Begrudgingly

My hairs are fine enough as it is, Tex; I cannot afford to split them any more.
by Erik_Kowal
Fri Sep 23, 2005 12:53 am
Forum: Miscellaneous
Topic: real life wire - Daniel Powter
Replies: 7
Views: 6360

real life wire - Daniel Powter

Metaphorically speaking, a 'live wire' is someone with a very energetic, forceful or alert, and perhaps unpredictable or impulsive, personality. Concerning the electrical connotation that Nicole has referred to, a live wire is the wire in an AC [= alternating current] circuit that carries the curren...
by Erik_Kowal
Thu Sep 22, 2005 10:50 am
Forum: Usage and Writing
Topic: Abstract Nouns
Replies: 19
Views: 12922

Abstract Nouns

Phil, you have put forward some good points, but I think a few of them are only correct to a certain degree. For instance, while it is true that the origins of creole languages are partly rooted in their original use as trading languages, you could not expect them to function equally well as such no...
by Erik_Kowal
Thu Sep 22, 2005 7:00 am
Forum: Usage and Writing
Topic: Abstract Nouns
Replies: 19
Views: 12922

Abstract Nouns

Phil, thanks for your very interesting discussion concerning Tom's deceptively simple question. I tried very hard to decipher your quoted sample of West Indian patois. There were a few expressions that remained stubbornly opaque, but even without having much prior exposure to West Indian speech, I f...
by Erik_Kowal
Wed Sep 21, 2005 9:12 am
Forum: Word Origins and Meanings
Topic: hoodoo: the rock
Replies: 14
Views: 15459

hoodoo: the rock

That's a very interesting and salutary corrective to the misperception of a common origin for those two words, Spiritus. The only thing you have left out in your account is the original source of most of your description, which I take to be http://www.billcasselman.com/casselmania/hoodoo.htm .
by Erik_Kowal
Wed Sep 21, 2005 4:11 am
Forum: Miscellaneous
Topic: Word Relationships
Replies: 13
Views: 6029

Word Relationships

Does a shake dog rank above or below a King Charles spaniel?
by Erik_Kowal
Wed Sep 21, 2005 2:39 am
Forum: Miscellaneous
Topic: blue berries
Replies: 4
Views: 3071

blue berries

Tell your child to tell her class they come from blue berry bushes, Tabby. Though some people might claim they are the leftover food of blue berry fairies, they would be wrong. (Trust me on this one, OK? I know it's pretty hard to believe...)
by Erik_Kowal
Tue Sep 20, 2005 6:45 am
Forum: No, wait. Don't tell me
Topic: Tom Swifties
Replies: 0
Views: 3057

Tom Swifties

D'ye ken Tom Swift? If you haven't, you owe it to yourself to make a detour to http://www.fun-with-words.com/tom_swifties.html, whose devotion to this special kind of pun amounts to over 400 examples. One or two will illustrate the genre: "I couldn't believe there were 527,986 bees in the swarm!" To...
by Erik_Kowal
Mon Sep 19, 2005 11:27 pm
Forum: Word Origins and Meanings
Topic: to "sam" someone; The Cassell Dictionary of Slang
Replies: 13
Views: 4009

to "sam" someone; The Cassell Dictionary of Slang

Dale, if you re-read what I copied from the publisher's website you will see that it is the 2nd edition, and that it is due to come out in November 2005.
by Erik_Kowal
Mon Sep 19, 2005 8:17 pm
Forum: Miscellaneous
Topic: Word Relationships
Replies: 13
Views: 6029

Word Relationships

Including some from England. :-)
by Erik_Kowal
Sun Sep 18, 2005 7:33 am
Forum: Addicts' Corner
Topic: Thank you WoZ and Australia
Replies: 53
Views: 15628

Thank you WoZ and Australia

Woz, the reason for the Ashes always remaining in Britain regardless of who wins them is that Australians are known for dropping their H's. Obviously, for you fellas to drop the urn would never do.
by Erik_Kowal
Fri Sep 16, 2005 11:12 pm
Forum: Miscellaneous
Topic: What do you call someone who's losing an argument?
Replies: 8
Views: 5350

What do you call someone who's losing an argument?

How about "'intelligent design' theorist"? Speaking of which, on 2005-09-15 NPR broadcasted an interesting audio interview on the topic which is accessible at http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=4848808 : "In his new book The Republican War on Science, journalist Chris Mooney conten...
by Erik_Kowal
Fri Sep 16, 2005 10:18 pm
Forum: No, wait. Don't tell me
Topic: Welsh versions of classic movies
Replies: 1
Views: 1942

Welsh versions of classic movies

Coming shortly to a screen near you: 9 1/2 Leeks Trefforest Gump Cwmando The Lost Boyos An American Werewolf in Powys Huw Dares Gwyneth Dai Hard The Wizard of Oswestry Cool Hand Look-you Sheepless in Seattle The Eagle Has Llandudno The Magnificent Severn Haverfordwest Was Won Austin Powys The Magic...