Search found 3769 matches

by Ken Greenwald
Tue Jan 11, 2005 1:13 am
Forum: Word Origins and Meanings
Topic: Draconian
Replies: 4
Views: 4453

Draconian

John, Since Draconian/draconian has such an interesting origin, might as well do the full monty anyway for those who may be interested. DRACONIAN/draconian: ‘Draconian’ is still regularly used to refer to any law, measure, or rule of authority that is excessively severe, harsh, or cruel. <“Some cons...
by Ken Greenwald
Mon Jan 10, 2005 11:04 pm
Forum: Word Origins and Meanings
Topic: Draconian
Replies: 4
Views: 4453

Draconian

John, Relative to your initial confusion, here is a little piece on ‘dracontology.’ _____________________________ Michael Quinion’s Word Wide Words DRACONTOLOGY: Strictly speaking, ‘dracontology’ should refer to the study of dragons. It derives from Greek ‘drakon,’ serpent (plus ‘–ology’ from a Gree...
by Ken Greenwald
Mon Jan 10, 2005 6:16 pm
Forum: Word Origins and Meanings
Topic: up for it
Replies: 18
Views: 8403

up for it

Dale, What does 'Meriting Candidacy' have to do with anything? When you drop stuff in a posting, try to make clear what it is and where it came, what’s the context. Or did you just make this up? If so, say so and explain yourself.
______________________

Ken - January 10, 2005
by Ken Greenwald
Mon Jan 10, 2005 1:29 am
Forum: Word Origins and Meanings
Topic: get someone's number / have someone's number
Replies: 1
Views: 3592

get someone's number / have someone's number

Vladimir, To GET SOMEONE’S NUMBER or to HAVE SOMEONE’S NUMBER means to have been perceptive and astute enough to have figured out the hidden truth about a person’s character, motives, behavior, or past; to have classified or identified a person as a type; to have made an accurate assessment/appraisa...
by Ken Greenwald
Sun Jan 09, 2005 10:59 pm
Forum: Word Origins and Meanings
Topic: Victorian bitch
Replies: 2
Views: 4379

Victorian bitch

Diane, There is absolutely no doubt that ‘bitch’ was used in Victorian times (Queen Victoria reigned form 1837 to 1901) to describe a malicious, spiteful, promiscuous (‘prostitute’ and beyond), or otherwise despicable women. The use of the word as a derogatory term for ‘woman’ (an unpleasant one) be...
by Ken Greenwald
Sun Jan 09, 2005 9:02 pm
Forum: Word Origins and Meanings
Topic: up for it
Replies: 18
Views: 8403

up for it

Steven, UP FOR IT means to be in a state of enthusiastic or confident readiness, willingness, or availability to partake in a particular activity: “Let’s go. I’m up for it.” The expression also often appears with the ‘it’ replaced by what it was that one was up for: “Are you up for going out for som...
by Ken Greenwald
Sat Jan 08, 2005 10:47 pm
Forum: Word Origins and Meanings
Topic: the meanings of colours
Replies: 2
Views: 3503

the meanings of colours

Thanks Hannah, The color article is very interesting and I hadn’t seen it before. Michael Quinion’s ‘World Wide Words’ and Evan Morris’ ‘Word Detective’ are two of my favorite word websites (beside ours, of course). Quinion sends out a free e-mail newsletter, which I read every week and highly recom...
by Ken Greenwald
Sat Jan 08, 2005 8:49 am
Forum: Word Origins and Meanings
Topic: fiddley deck
Replies: 2
Views: 3785

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: 3142

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: 5224

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: 2645

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: 3213

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: 6453

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: 15303

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: 15303

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...