Search found 7947 matches

by Erik_Kowal
Tue Mar 08, 2005 8:23 pm
Forum: Word Origins and Meanings
Topic: spunky
Replies: 7
Views: 4481

spunky

There is one associated sense of the word 'spunk' that is missing here; in addition to all those listed above, it also carries the meaning 'semen', which Cassell's Dictionary of Slang tells me dates from the late 19 C and has given rise to a number of other terms such as 'to spunk/spunk off' (ejacul...
by Erik_Kowal
Tue Mar 08, 2005 7:20 am
Forum: Word Origins and Meanings
Topic: coupe and saloon / American vs. British automotive-related terms
Replies: 34
Views: 12073

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

Simon's comment about the perceived pun on Bag End and cul-de-sac makes me curious about how 'Bag End' was translated in the French version of The Hobbit.
by Erik_Kowal
Tue Mar 08, 2005 6:11 am
Forum: Word Origins and Meanings
Topic: It's snowing to beat the band
Replies: 1
Views: 1622

It's snowing to beat the band

Evah, this very phrase has already been discussed in http://www.wordwizard.com/phpbb3/viewtopic.php?t=5080
by Erik_Kowal
Mon Mar 07, 2005 7:33 am
Forum: Usage and Writing
Topic: beer or beers
Replies: 23
Views: 7203

beer or beers

Speaking as the native of a country whose national drink is beer in all its various forms, I must nevertheless assert that the best stable of beers I know of is made in the USA -- to be precise, by the New Belgium Brewing Company of Fort Collins, Colorado, which happens also to be Ken's home town. I...
by Erik_Kowal
Thu Mar 03, 2005 3:49 pm
Forum: Word Origins and Meanings
Topic: baby blues
Replies: 11
Views: 2552

baby blues

Doris, it seems that we are all pretty clueless in relation to the subject of your query. It is possible that you might have better luck either from consulting a history of obstetrics or posing your question in a medical newsgroup. Alternatively, you could try sending an email to a few UK medical sc...
by Erik_Kowal
Thu Mar 03, 2005 12:13 am
Forum: Word Origins and Meanings
Topic: by heart
Replies: 3
Views: 1666

by heart

You are assuming it is a quote, but I suspect that it is merely an ancient idiom whose origins are probably untraceable.
by Erik_Kowal
Wed Mar 02, 2005 10:29 pm
Forum: Usage and Writing
Topic: specially(-)marked
Replies: 6
Views: 4727

specially(-)marked

Russ, is this exegetic mode one of your specialities? :-)
by Erik_Kowal
Tue Mar 01, 2005 8:58 pm
Forum: Usage and Writing
Topic: specially(-)marked
Replies: 6
Views: 4727

specially(-)marked

In general terms, if a multiple-word phrase is being used as an adjective, as it is here, it may need to be hyphenated: "Take advantage now of this never-to-be-repeated offer!" However, the necessity for the hyphen will depend primarily on whether its use will reduce the ambiguity or ease of reading...
by Erik_Kowal
Mon Feb 28, 2005 5:03 pm
Forum: Word Origins and Meanings
Topic: evangelist -- sense of humor
Replies: 7
Views: 1972

evangelist -- sense of humor

Born (again) to be smiled?
by Erik_Kowal
Sat Feb 26, 2005 6:55 pm
Forum: Word Origins and Meanings
Topic: evangelist -- sense of humor
Replies: 7
Views: 1972

evangelist -- sense of humor

A holy roller in the aisles?
by Erik_Kowal
Fri Feb 25, 2005 6:24 pm
Forum: Word Origins and Meanings
Topic: avatar
Replies: 25
Views: 5572

avatar

Dale, I think your label for the 'Matrix' characters is accurate. Bob, the reason that there is a genuine market in computer gaming avatars is that it takes such a lot of effort and playing time to create an avatar with the most desirable attributes. The best ones can reputedly fetch hundreds of dol...
by Erik_Kowal
Fri Feb 25, 2005 6:19 pm
Forum: Word Origins and Meanings
Topic: Chinese parliament
Replies: 7
Views: 5029

Chinese parliament

Good point, Russ. In the USA 'Chinese fire drill' also has a more specific meaning. It can refer to a prank or stunt in which all the occupants of a car leap out at a red light and get back in, but reoccupy different seats. The aim is to complete the manoeuvre and be ready to roll before the light t...
by Erik_Kowal
Thu Feb 24, 2005 11:10 am
Forum: Word Origins and Meanings
Topic: And, as they say, Annie's home
Replies: 10
Views: 2909

And, as they say, Annie's home

'Nuff said! :-)
by Erik_Kowal
Thu Feb 24, 2005 9:53 am
Forum: Word Origins and Meanings
Topic: And, as they say, Annie's home
Replies: 10
Views: 2909

And, as they say, Annie's home

If this guess is wrong, I apologise in advance to McVane, but it's all starting to smell like a hoax assignment.
by Erik_Kowal
Thu Feb 24, 2005 9:49 am
Forum: Word Origins and Meanings
Topic: limited edition
Replies: 6
Views: 1763

limited edition

Yes, but John was referring to the bottles 'rattling through the rollers', not to the wine contained in them.