Tag Archives: word origins

Rotten Row: How This Fashionable Place Earned Such an Unusual Name?

During the Regency Era one of the places to see and be seen was a broad stretch of track running along the south side of Hyde Park in London. It was known as Rotten Row, not a very enticing name … 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?

Inexpressibles ~ Etymology Compare to unmentionables ‎(“underwear”). Geri Walton at her Unique Histories from the 18th and 19th Centuries tells us “That part of the dress which it is now unlawful to name, seems of old to have had the … 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?

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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