Category Archives: etymology

Do You Know These Words and Phrases?

 Jumping the Broom/Broomstick – This is a ceremony dating back to the 1600s and derived from Africa. Dating back to slave days, jumping the broom together has been part of weddings for couples who want to honor that tradition. It also … Continue reading

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Are You Familiar With These Words and Phrases?

Spillikin ~ The Oxford Living Dictionaries gives us: [treated as singular] A game played with a heap of small rods of wood, bone, or plastic, in which players try to remove one at a time without disturbing the others, while Wikitionary … Continue reading

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Are You Familiar with These Words and Phrases?

I love unusual words and phrases and often make note of them as I read. Today, we have a nice mix.  “As Nice as Ninepence“ means neat, tidy, well-ordered. Phrase Finder tells us that the origin of the phrase may … Continue reading

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Do You Know The Origin of These Words and Phrases?

Three Sheets to the Wind – Urban Dictionary defines this phrase to mean “to be explicitly drunk; inebriated.” The origin is likely found in practicality: Sheets actually refer to the ropes that are used to secure a ship’s sail. If the … Continue reading

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Do You Know the Origin of These Words and Phrases?

Do You Know The Origin of These Words and Phrases? I have been editing again, as well as judging a few writing contests. The process had me searching out some of the least common words and phrases I encountered. Check … Continue reading

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The Lovely World of the English Language: Do You Know the Origin of These Words and Phrases?

Nodcock ~ From the Oxford English Dictionary (OED), this is one of many words meaning “fool or idiot” It dates back to the 1500’s. Synonyms include “noddypoop, noddypoll, and niddicock.” [I wish I had known this word when a gentleman told me I … Continue reading

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