This is the full read-only archive of the "Ask the Wordwizard" section of the original Wordwizard site. The responses to the questions originate from Jonathon Green, the compiler of the Cassell Dictionary of Slang and numerous other dictionaries.
where does the phrase "smack dab" originate?
also wondering about the origin of "craw"
Submitted by emilie leake (nyc - U.S.A.)
Signature: Topic imported and archived
'smack', used advervbially, with, or as with, a smack; suddenly and violently; slap plus 'dab', adv. With a dab, or sudden contact.
craw comes from a Teutonic root and is cognate with such words as Dutch 'kraag', the neck.
Signature: Jonathon Green
End of topic.