Tag Archives: phrases

Do You Know These Words and Phrases?

Go Through Fire and Water ~ English for Students tells us, “Go through fire and water means to face any peril. This phrase originally referred to the medieval practice of trial by ordeal which could take the form of making an accused … Continue reading

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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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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?

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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Are You Familiar with These Phrases and Words?

Today we will look at phrases/words we have inherited from England. Go to the Dickens! (or) What the Dickens! Believe it or not, neither phrase has anything to do with the Victorian novelist, Charles Dickens. Actually, “dickens” comes to us … 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