Tag Archives: Anglicisms
corduroy

corduroy

  photograph: javi.velazquez       MEANING   a heavy cotton pile fabric with lengthways ribs     ORIGIN: UNKNOWN   The original form of this noun, in the late 18th century, was corderoy. The earliest use of the word that I could find is in The Manchester Mercury (Lancashire) of Tuesday 7th April 1772: Manchester, March 23, 1772. STOLEN. From […]

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to blackball

to blackball

  Mary Delany (née Granville) – 1782 – by John Opie photograph: National Portrait Gallery         MEANINGS   – To reject a candidate applying to become a member of a club or other society by means of a secret ballot. – To exclude someone from society, a profession, etc.; to ostracise.   […]

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shampoo

shampoo

  M. Pickwick addressing the club – original illustration by Robert Seymour (1798-1836) for The Posthumous Papers of the Pickwick Club, published in 1837     The verb to shampoo is from Hindi cāṃpo!, press!, imperative of cāṃpnā.   It originally meant to subject a person to massage. It first appeared as a noun in […]

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Galloglossia

Galloglossia

  John Bull taking a Luncheon: – or – British Cooks, cramming Old Grumble-Gizzard, with Bonne-Chère hand-coloured etching by James Gillray – published on 24th October 1798 This print was published just after Nelson’s victory at the Battle of the Nile. He is shown in the forefront of British admirals and naval heroes, serving up […]

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mess of pottage

mess of pottage

      Esau and Jacob – 1640s – by Matthias Stom       The noun mess means a dirty or untidy state of things or of a place.   But its sense was originally a serving of (semi-liquid) food, later liquid food for an animal.   This gave rise, in the early 19th […]

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Voltaire & les anglicismes

Voltaire & les anglicismes

      Voltaire, d’après Maurice Quentin de La Tour         Le verbe désappointer est formé, avec préfixation en dé(s)-, sur le verbe appointer. Son sens originel est destituer quelqu’un de sa charge.   Par extension de sens, désappointer est employé, au figuré et le plus souvent au passif, pour signifier tromper […]

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pedigree

pedigree

  Whooping Crane (Grus americana) from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia (1904)     The word pedigree appeared in the early 15th century in the Latin form pedicru and in English forms such as pe-de-grew and pedegru, from Anglo-Norman French pé de grue and variants (pied de grue in Modern French), meaning literally foot of crane. The Anglo-Norman French word is first recorded during the second Michaelmas term (i.e. […]

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budget

budget

  bulga – from Dictionnaire illustré latin-français (1934), by Félix Gaffiot       MEANING   The following definition of budget is from the New English Dictionary (i.e. Oxford English Dictionary – 1888 edition): A statement of the probable revenue and expenditure for the ensuing year, with financial proposals founded thereon, annually submitted by the Chancellor of the Exchequer, on behalf of the Ministry, […]

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‘dog’

‘dog’

      The word dog is from Old English docga, of unknown origin. The generic name, in Old English and in the Germanic languages, was hund (Modern English hound), from an Indo-European root shared by Greek kuōn, kun-, and Latin canis, dog.     GENERIC TERMS FOR DOG   – Germanic languages: German Hund, Dutch hond, Danish and Swedish hund. […]

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tennis

tennis

  Jeu de paume – France – 17th century     Paulme: feminine. The paulme of the hand; also, a ball; (and hence) also, Tennis (play;) also, the Palme tree. from A Dictionarie of the French and English Tongues (1611), by Randle Cotgrave     Fourthly, the inside of the Uvea is black’d like the walls […]

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