Search found 8072 matches

by Erik_Kowal
Tue May 31, 2005 8:06 pm
Forum: Word Origins and Meanings
Topic: skinny (as in 'the skinny')
Replies: 12
Views: 19701

skinny (as in 'the skinny')

This is purely a wild-assed guess, but I wonder if the 'malinks'/'malinky' component in the Scots 'skinnymalinky' may ultimately derive from the Russian adjective 'malenky', meaning 'small' or (depending on the context) 'young'. It occurs to me that Scottish seafarers (a common occupation at one tim...
by Erik_Kowal
Tue May 31, 2005 4:53 pm
Forum: Miscellaneous
Topic: THE
Replies: 26
Views: 7945

THE

What one has to swallow for a job one loves!

Bob, I assume you had to visit each of these establishments to conduct bottoms-up verification in accordance with your last orders -- in other words, you were inspecting the on-the-ground aleways?
by Erik_Kowal
Tue May 31, 2005 7:36 am
Forum: Word Origins and Meanings
Topic: slick mile
Replies: 8
Views: 2088

slick mile

Ken, it seems to me that some possibility of confusion arises in relation to the difference in meaning between another common motoring term, tyre adhesion -- what I would think of as a tyre's ability to grip the road, either with or without the benefit of the tyre being sticky -- and tyre adhesivene...
by Erik_Kowal
Mon May 30, 2005 9:15 pm
Forum: Miscellaneous
Topic: THE
Replies: 26
Views: 7945

THE

That's because there isn't one.
by Erik_Kowal
Mon May 30, 2005 8:01 pm
Forum: Word Origins and Meanings
Topic: slick mile
Replies: 8
Views: 2088

slick mile

Hmm. The full quote that Dale failed to supply and was not available from his defective link contains some useful additional contextual information. It runs, "If you ask me...that was a pretty dry slick mile dirt track...there were a few flat/blown tires due to the track conditions, I'm sure you sti...
by Erik_Kowal
Sat May 28, 2005 6:55 am
Forum: Word Origins and Meanings
Topic: torch song
Replies: 5
Views: 2385

torch song

I wonder if it might have originated with the custom in the modern Olympic Games of the torch-bearer carrying the Olympic Flame in a torch that is not allowed to go out, as a ritualised symbol of purity. As far as I have been able to ascertain, this began with the Games of the XI Olympiad held in Be...
by Erik_Kowal
Fri May 27, 2005 2:53 am
Forum: Usage and Writing
Topic: Afrocentric and Eurocentric
Replies: 16
Views: 9735

Afrocentric and Eurocentric

It seems clear to me that the Bush economic doctrine can best be assigned to the economic perspective of the above-mentioned Martians (some might also associate it with his martial plan; both associations would accordingly make his doctrine Ares-centric, or Arean); or, to put things in more familiar...
by Erik_Kowal
Thu May 26, 2005 4:21 pm
Forum: Usage and Writing
Topic: Afrocentric and Eurocentric
Replies: 16
Views: 9735

Afrocentric and Eurocentric

So, Bob, you presumably heard 'a big piece of pie' (or perhaps 'a bigger piece of pie')? That would have made some sense of those otherwise weird-sounding lyrics, I guess. Of course, in this connection who could overlook the South Carolina Republican Debate debate on 15 February 2000 involving G W B...
by Erik_Kowal
Thu May 26, 2005 9:24 am
Forum: Usage and Writing
Topic: Afrocentric and Eurocentric
Replies: 16
Views: 9735

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: 4085

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: 4085

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: 3411

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: 1714

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: 3999

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: 2119

spring tide

Which is not to be confused with the Scots 'neeptide', meaning 'turnip harvest'.