Search found 3657 matches

by Ken Greenwald
Sat Jan 08, 2005 8:49 am
Forum: Word Origins and Meanings
Topic: fiddley deck
Replies: 2
Views: 1665

fiddley deck

Paul, The OED and M-W define ‘fiddley’ as follows: “The iron framework round the deck opening that leads to the stoke-hole of a steamer; usually covered by a grating of iron bars; the space below this.” They give no derivation, but the answer appears to me to be pretty straightforward. ‘Fiddley’ is ...
by Ken Greenwald
Sat Jan 08, 2005 12:28 am
Forum: Word Origins and Meanings
Topic: giv'us a deck.
Replies: 4
Views: 1119

giv'us a deck.

DEKKO/DECKO noun [late 19th century and still in use]: a look, a view [Hindustani ‘dekho,’ look]

DECK noun [mid-19th century and still in use]: look, a galnce (cf. 'dekko') [Hindustani 'dekha,' sight]
_______________________________

(Cassell’s Dictionary of Slang)
by Ken Greenwald
Fri Jan 07, 2005 10:52 pm
Forum: Word Origins and Meanings
Topic: chimerical
Replies: 8
Views: 1892

chimerical

Nadia, First here’s the 'true' definition and modern usages of ‘chimerical': CHIMERICAL: 1) Being, relating to, or like a chimera; created by or as if by a wildly fanciful imagination; highly improbable; unreal and existing only as the product of wild unrestrained imagination – imaginary <His Utopia...
by Ken Greenwald
Fri Jan 07, 2005 7:19 pm
Forum: Word Origins and Meanings
Topic: pancake
Replies: 3
Views: 1358

pancake

‘Pain’ does mean bread in French, but I’m not up on my French etymology enough to know if there is a connection to ‘pan’ and ‘pancake.’ However, I did find that, before 1400 ‘pancake’ was sometimes referred to as ‘pankakus,’ a Latinate form, which BTW earlier showed up as surname ‘Panecak’ and ‘Pane...
by Ken Greenwald
Fri Jan 07, 2005 7:55 am
Forum: Word Origins and Meanings
Topic: follow the straight and narrow
Replies: 2
Views: 1130

follow the straight and narrow

Also, the ‘life’ in "Strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life" in Matthew 7:14 refers to ‘salvation’ and the ‘straight and narrow’ or ‘straight and narrow path’ or ‘walk the straight and narrow path’ was largely a Victorian concept of rectitude, which became current in the ...
by Ken Greenwald
Fri Jan 07, 2005 2:54 am
Forum: Word Origins and Meanings
Topic: commonwealth vs. state
Replies: 4
Views: 2553

commonwealth vs. state

The following is from The Encyclopedia Britannica: COMMONWEALTH: A body politic founded on law for the common “weal,” or good. The term was often used by 17th-century writers, for example, Thomas Hobbes and John Locke, to signify the concept of the organized political community. For them it meant mu...
by Ken Greenwald
Fri Jan 07, 2005 1:21 am
Forum: Miscellaneous
Topic: floccinaucinihilipilification and other long words
Replies: 11
Views: 7454

floccinaucinihilipilification and other long words

Phil, We’ll have to put that to a vote at our next advisory board meeting, which, BTW, with our newfound wealth, I suggest be held at the Bellagio in Las Vegas.

Ken
by Ken Greenwald
Fri Jan 07, 2005 12:53 am
Forum: Miscellaneous
Topic: floccinaucinihilipilification and other long words
Replies: 11
Views: 7454

floccinaucinihilipilification and other long words

Phil, I’m going to be explaining all this in a seminar I’ll be offering on this subject in Fort Collins and am considering videotaping it and selling it on our website as a as a fund-raiser for Wordwizard.com. For those who want to fly in and see it live, I’m putting together a reasonably-priced pac...
by Ken Greenwald
Thu Jan 06, 2005 11:05 pm
Forum: Miscellaneous
Topic: floccinaucinihilipilification and other long words
Replies: 11
Views: 7454

floccinaucinihilipilification and other long words

It is not often that one actually finds one of these ridiculously long words used seriously in a real sentence nowadays. So it was surprising to see this whopper in an article in this month’s Scientific American (January 2005) entitled ‘Exploding the Self-Esteem Myth.’ The basic idea of the article,...
by Ken Greenwald
Thu Jan 06, 2005 8:01 pm
Forum: Usage and Writing
Topic: competence / competency
Replies: 5
Views: 2552

competence / competency

Phil, Here are two up-to-date and somewhat different takes by the big boys, where the 2nd comes closer to the point of difference that you were making, and which I agree with, than the 1st: 1) New Fowler’s Modern English Usage (revised 3rd edition –1998) by Burchfield: Neither ‘competence’ nor ‘comp...
by Ken Greenwald
Thu Jan 06, 2005 2:25 am
Forum: Miscellaneous
Topic: mxyzptlk
Replies: 1
Views: 1414

mxyzptlk

Dear Mango, Mr. Mxyzptlk is a devilish character who, since 1944 when he first papered in a Superman comic book, has been harassing the man of steel. For more than most people would every want to know about this character see http://www.supermanhomepage.com/comics/comics.php?topic=special-reports/mx...
by Ken Greenwald
Tue Jan 04, 2005 10:19 pm
Forum: Word Origins and Meanings
Topic: succotash
Replies: 7
Views: 2242

succotash

Allen, Now you’ve went and made me prejudiced! (<:)

Ken
by Ken Greenwald
Tue Jan 04, 2005 10:10 pm
Forum: Word Origins and Meanings
Topic: Janus words (antagonyms, contronyms)
Replies: 8
Views: 4069

Janus words (antagonyms, contronyms)

Dale, I was not implying that NONE of them were any good, just that MOST of them weren’t any good. And I don’t think we should have to wade through a pile of your refuse just to discover the few that might have been worthwhile. Use some judgment in posting and don’t just indiscriminately dump on us ...
by Ken Greenwald
Tue Jan 04, 2005 8:27 pm
Forum: Word Origins and Meanings
Topic: succotash
Replies: 7
Views: 2242

succotash

Nicolas, Simon is right but today succotash takes several forms. The first succotash consisting of corn and beans cooked in bear grease was made by American Indians who, incidentally, grew the corn and beans together with the cornstalks serving as bean poles. Colonists used the word in the early 18t...
by Ken Greenwald
Tue Jan 04, 2005 7:30 am
Forum: Word Origins and Meanings
Topic: gut soup
Replies: 17
Views: 2375

gut soup

Wiz, Well here’s a strange turn of events. I’m usually telling you to refer to reliable sources and you’re usually telling me I rely too much on reliable sources. And here I am saying ‘gut soup’ looks real based on a paltry number of Google hits. I agree with you that this one is pretty shaky, but I...