Category Archives: etymology

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

Posted in Age of Chaucer, Canterbury tales, etymology, history, Jane Austen, real life tales, tall tales, word choices, word origins, word play, writing | Tagged , , , , , | 4 Comments

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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