Search found 1973 matches

by Shelley
Fri Jun 03, 2005 11:18 pm
Forum: Word Origins and Meanings
Topic: stand a chance
Replies: 9
Views: 5315

stand a chance

Does the usage of "stand" as in "I'll stand you to a pint" fit in here? (Did I make this up?) I figured "stand a chance" had to do with affording, or parting with, the price of a raffle ticket and if you didn't stand a chance it meant you weren't even getting in the game. I'll admit it's pretty narr...
by Shelley
Fri Jun 03, 2005 11:00 pm
Forum: Word Origins and Meanings
Topic: welsh/welch on a bet
Replies: 11
Views: 15616

welsh/welch on a bet

And I'm only hazarding a guess when I say this, but it seems obvious to me that “vicious cycle” is to “vicious circle” what “Welsh rarebit” is to “Welsh rabbit”: It rivals the original only because it SEEMS more likely than the original. -- Bill _____________________________________________________...
by Shelley
Fri Jun 03, 2005 6:57 pm
Forum: Usage and Writing
Topic: 'In back of' vs.' behind'
Replies: 13
Views: 9936

'In back of' vs.' behind'

A show of support can be expressed by "I've got your back", "I'll back you up", "I'm at your back" in addition to the "I'm behind you 100%". I recently heard a 19 year old express thanks in a speech to all those who "had (his) back". It sounded like he saw life as street warfare and himself as a tar...
by Shelley
Wed Jun 01, 2005 11:52 pm
Forum: Word Origins and Meanings
Topic: denim and corduroy
Replies: 21
Views: 9239

denim and corduroy

The earliest use of the term found thus far occurred in 1795 when the Hull Advertiser referred to "old corduroy breeches." In 1722 the London Gazette mentioned "a grey duroy coat"; in 1746 a writer listed "Serges, Duroys , Druggets, Shalloons" etc., and after his marriage to Martha Custis in 1759 G...
by Shelley
Tue May 31, 2005 9:01 pm
Forum: Word Origins and Meanings
Topic: pikey
Replies: 14
Views: 12217

pikey

My path crossed recently with a fellow from Australia, who referred to me as a "piker" (in jest, I trust!) when I had to leave the meeting early. I took it to mean "quitter", but perhaps it has more to do with the gypsy-urge to hit the road. Clearly, use of the term did not die in the 60's.
by Shelley
Tue May 31, 2005 8:19 pm
Forum: Word Origins and Meanings
Topic: skinnymalink(s) / skinny malink(s) / skinny marink(s) / etc.
Replies: 24
Views: 40411

skinnymalink(s) / skinny malink(s) / skinny marink(s) / etc.

Of course. Now I understand why I hear "skinnymarink . . ." in Jimmy Durante's voice. However, my song IS a song -- I learned only that little bit, though. Also, regarding personal mishearings: I sang, "My country 'tis a flea/Sweet land of liberty . . ."; and "America! America/God shed his skin on t...
by Shelley
Tue May 31, 2005 7:31 pm
Forum: Word Origins and Meanings
Topic: welsh/welch on a bet
Replies: 11
Views: 15616

welsh/welch on a bet

Was there a particular event that resulted in this expression? Why are the Welsh slandered in this way? I've searched WW, and have found dictionary definitions, but no cause for the phrase. I ask this at the risk of offending a certain senior member of the club -- please forgive me for bringing it u...
by Shelley
Tue May 31, 2005 6:58 pm
Forum: Word Origins and Meanings
Topic: skinnymalink(s) / skinny malink(s) / skinny marink(s) / etc.
Replies: 24
Views: 40411

skinnymalink(s) / skinny malink(s) / skinny marink(s) / etc.

I heard a song once: Skinnymarink-a-dink-a-dink, Skinnymarink-a-doo, I love you. I think Jimmy Durante recorded it, but that could just be my imagination because I seem to hear the words and tune in his voice. I realize this is not a website to discuss pop songs, but I seem to be in a musical mode t...
by Shelley
Tue May 31, 2005 6:04 pm
Forum: Word Origins and Meanings
Topic: torch song
Replies: 5
Views: 3308

torch song

Ken, there are still a few singers of sultry songs out there. k.d. Lang, for instance, can torch it up pretty well. It's all a matter of taste, though, I know.
by Shelley
Tue May 31, 2005 5:56 pm
Forum: Usage and Writing
Topic: King James and UK vs US English
Replies: 6
Views: 5392

King James and UK vs US English

I finally checked my Gideons (the one I lifted from a hotel room somewhere in the black-minded hills of South Dakota), thinking that it might use a very Americanized version of King James. Gideons spells it "colour", too.

Signed,
Rocky Raccoon
by Shelley
Tue May 31, 2005 5:46 pm
Forum: Word Origins and Meanings
Topic: go tilt
Replies: 6
Views: 2799

go tilt

Why do pinball machines use the word TILT in the first place?
by Shelley
Fri May 20, 2005 6:22 pm
Forum: Word Origins and Meanings
Topic: down to
Replies: 6
Views: 3496

down to

The phrase brings to mind that Joni Mitchell song about "it all comes down to you" (constant stranger?) It also means what you have when everything else is eliminated: when you get down to the last two contestants, for example, or when you're down to the last few seconds of a game. In the context de...
by Shelley
Sun May 15, 2005 1:19 pm
Forum: Word Origins and Meanings
Topic: outstanding
Replies: 10
Views: 5578

outstanding

Sorry, -- Wales, I mean.
by Shelley
Sun May 15, 2005 1:16 pm
Forum: Word Origins and Meanings
Topic: outstanding
Replies: 10
Views: 5578

outstanding

. . . or dungaree(s), if he was in Australia!
by Shelley
Fri May 13, 2005 8:25 pm
Forum: Word Origins and Meanings
Topic: nosy body / nosy-body
Replies: 7
Views: 14142

nosy body / nosy-body

This is really unscholarly of me. I went to your link re: "sliding pond". Hmmm. How in the world would someone attach the word pond to a slide? Unless it was a slide ending in a pool? Then I remembered Grandma's word for the blanket you take to the beach or on a picnic: a sit-upon. (She would have p...