Tag 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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The Lovely World of the English Language ~ Do You Know These Idioms?

Are you like me? Do you wonder from where a particular phrase originates? I am often in a position to search out a phrase or a word to determine whether it is too modern for my writings set in the … Continue reading

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Do You Know These Words and Phrases?

 Do you know “bromide”? A bromide is a phrase or platitude or cliché whose excessive use suggests insincerity or a lack of originality in the speaker. The term “bromide” derives from the antiquated use of bromide salts in medicine as mild tranquilizers and … 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?

Bell the Cat ~ To hang a bell around a cat’s neck to provide a warning. Figuratively, the expression refers to any task that is difficult or impossible to achieve. This explanation comes from Phrase Finder. This expression ultimately derives from the … 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