Search found 82 matches

by John Barton
Thu Mar 31, 2005 10:04 am
Forum: Word Origins and Meanings
Topic: "Last straw"/Clochandichter
Replies: 41
Views: 38973

"Last straw"/Clochandichter

Sorry Ken - you're right, I'm all confused. Didn't notice the different spelling.
by John Barton
Thu Mar 31, 2005 10:03 am
Forum: Word Origins and Meanings
Topic: "Last straw"/Clochandichter
Replies: 41
Views: 38973

"Last straw"/Clochandichter

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by John Barton
Thu Mar 31, 2005 5:41 am
Forum: Word Origins and Meanings
Topic: "Last straw"/Clochandichter
Replies: 41
Views: 38973

"Last straw"/Clochandichter

Well, I think I've stumped you lot on this, so I did some more research. On further thought, 'clochan' is a diminuative of 'cloch', a rock, which is the prefix of several Scottish place-names. So the real suffix is 'andericht'. Now there is a German verb 'anderichten' meaning to attribute or impute ...
by John Barton
Thu Mar 31, 2005 5:23 am
Forum: Word Origins and Meanings
Topic: ANZAC
Replies: 3
Views: 1797

ANZAC

Fair enough, WoZ. I only connected them on the grounds that the Boy Scouts were originally dispatch riders in the Boer War, later a camping organisation, and now I believe degenerated virtually to a Christian group. The 1916 manual is mainly about the part youths can play in war, so I made an assump...
by John Barton
Thu Mar 31, 2005 12:03 am
Forum: Word Origins and Meanings
Topic: "Last straw"/Clochandichter
Replies: 41
Views: 38973

"Last straw"/Clochandichter

This was just something I found on a scrap of paper that I had copied from somewhere years ago. I've found that there is Clochandichter Hill in Scotland, 545 feet, and tree-covered. And 'Place-Names of Scotland' gives various places in which 'cloch' is from 'rock': Cloch, Clochan, Clochnaben, Clochb...
by John Barton
Wed Mar 30, 2005 5:53 am
Forum: Word Origins and Meanings
Topic: "Last straw"/Clochandichter
Replies: 41
Views: 38973

"Last straw"/Clochandichter

There seems to be some doubt whether 'the last straw' is the one that breaks the camel's back, or the penultimate one. Are there words in any language meaning this? - the last something before some event occurs? The only one I can think of is the N.E. Scotland word CLOCHANDICHTER, to which I can fin...
by John Barton
Wed Mar 30, 2005 5:40 am
Forum: Word Origins and Meanings
Topic: ANZAC
Replies: 3
Views: 1797

ANZAC

(Acronym for "Australian and New Zealand Army Corps", first adopted by Field-Marshal W.R.Birdwood when he took command of this Corps in Egypt late in 1914) But in "Scouting for Boys" by Sir Robert Baden-Powell, of which I've only seen the 8th edition, 1916, it is given as 'ANZIAC', with the explanat...
by John Barton
Mon Feb 28, 2005 8:15 pm
Forum: Word Origins and Meanings
Topic: avatar
Replies: 25
Views: 10001

avatar

Without disagreeing with what has been said, the idea that 'Avatar' has become a plastic toy is akin to equating Queen Elizabeth with a chess-piece. And would be nonsensical in eastern nations. Two fairly distinct forms of avatar exist: that of the constantly incarnating deity of a particular religi...
by John Barton
Wed Feb 23, 2005 8:43 pm
Forum: Word Origins and Meanings
Topic: fuzz = policeman
Replies: 14
Views: 4813

fuzz = policeman

I recall a student magazine of about the '60's with the slogan "Protect your local fuzz" and an illustration of a jockstrap.
by John Barton
Wed Feb 23, 2005 8:36 pm
Forum: Word Origins and Meanings
Topic: limited edition
Replies: 6
Views: 3025

limited edition

What constitutes a limited edition? The authority John Carter, in "ABC for Book Collectors", reckoned not above 100 copies. So a 'limited edition of 1000' is actually unlimited (the maximum they can sell). But what was never envisaged fifty years ago, was limited editions of objects of all kinds. No...
by John Barton
Wed Feb 23, 2005 8:22 pm
Forum: Word Origins and Meanings
Topic: datum, data
Replies: 10
Views: 3979

datum, data

About 30 years ago, everyone pronounced 'data' to rhyme with 'later'; now it seems fashionable to rhyme it with 'smarter'. Every dictionary I know allows only the former, in conformity with normal Latin pronunciation. As the plural of 'datum'; so "what is the data on..." is a howler. It seems destin...
by John Barton
Fri Feb 18, 2005 9:42 pm
Forum: Usage and Writing
Topic: beyond unique (nonextant) [also nonexistent vs inexistent]
Replies: 9
Views: 4837

beyond unique (nonextant) [also nonexistent vs inexistent]

'Unique' is used with very elastic meaning, often 'different', or 'not very common'. If a run of gadgets has 'a unique feature' there may be thousands of them, but presumably no other gadget is quite like it. But how about things which were known once to exist, but don't any longer? The incunable Va...
by John Barton
Wed Feb 16, 2005 8:33 am
Forum: Word Origins and Meanings
Topic: eat pussy
Replies: 17
Views: 8996

eat pussy

H'mm - 'clam' suggests a whole new terminology. Women are better than men at concealing disasters; so how about 'cock-up' for men only. Then a female debacle could be a 'clam-up'. I'm reminded of a police poster : "If you drink and drive, you're a dickhead". With the graffito added: "If you don't, y...
by John Barton
Thu Feb 03, 2005 8:28 pm
Forum: Miscellaneous
Topic: couples
Replies: 39
Views: 37600

couples

Grey mare, yoke-mate (hitched in double harness), better horse, off-sider, moiety, obbligato, squaw, help-meet, soul-mate?
by John Barton
Thu Feb 03, 2005 8:11 pm
Forum: Word Origins and Meanings
Topic: cartoon jargon
Replies: 5
Views: 4348

cartoon jargon

Hmmm. When Mort coined these words, he never meant them to catch on; his later Lexicon was a response to the fact that some HAD. Now, if I were a prominent person suing in a law-court for ridicule by a cartoonist,it would be embarrassing to have to explain that I was depicted with a cloud emanating ...