Tag Archives: sayings-phrases
a hair of the dog

a hair of the dog

  A hair of the dog is an alcoholic drink taken to cure a hangover. It is from a hair of the dog that bit you, formerly recommended as an efficacious remedy for the bite of a mad dog. The first recorded use of this phrase in English dates back to 1546. In his Proverbs, Epigrams and […]

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On proverbs

  In Notes & Queries (2d series, vol. 12, July-December 1861), A. De Morgan wrote, under the title Raining cats and dogs [also read here]: The derivation kata doksa will not do for the whole phrase, which, when I was a boy, was “cats and dogs, and pitchforks with their points downwards”. The phrase seems to be […]

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to pay through the nose: folk etymology

  I have explained in another article the probable origin of to pay through the nose. In an article titled Horse-Marines, published in Notes and Queries (Series 9/II, 1898, p. 457), a certain Richard Edgcumbe gave the following folk etymology:   Then, again, “Paying through the nose”. This was originally a common expression on board ship: “Pay out the cable”, […]

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left & right – la gauche & la droite

left & right – la gauche & la droite

  ‘You’d better go and shift that ladder to the right window.’ ‘You mean the left window.’ ‘Well, let’s call it the correct window.’ I braced myself to break the bad news. ‘Ah,’ I said, ‘but what you’re overlooking – possibly because I forgot to tell you – is that a snag has arisen which […]

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cheese – fromage

cheese – fromage

  “Comment voulez-vous gouverner un pays qui a deux-cent quarante-six variétés de fromage ?” (“How can you govern a country which has two hundred and forty-six varieties of cheese?”) attributed to Charles de Gaulle (1890-1970), French general and statesman, in Les mots du général de Gaulle (1962), by Ernest Mignon photograph: fémivin.com   The word cheese is from Old English cēse, cȳse, […]

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The resistible rise of Marine Le Pen

The resistible rise of Marine Le Pen

   The new, reassuring face of old extremism     Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves. Gospel of Matthew – 7:15    The tricolour logo of Rassemblement Bleu Marine     The Front National, France’s main far-right party, was renamed Rassemblement Bleu Marine when Marine Le […]

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Green, an unsettling colour

Green, an unsettling colour

      Verdigris is a bright bluish-green encrustation or patina formed on copper or brass by atmospheric oxidation, consisting of basic copper carbonate. The word verdigris is from Old French verte-gres, earlier vert de Grece, meaning green of Greece.     ETYMOLOGIES   The word green is etymologically related to the words grass and grow. And […]

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Is French language misogynist?

  Vous pouvez lire l’article en français ici You can read the article in French here     Here are two pairs of English words and their French equivalents: 1. English son ↔ daughter             French fils ↔ fille 2. English boy ↔ girl                       French garçon ↔ fille The words fils and fille are from Latin filius, […]

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La langue française est-elle misogyne ?

La langue française est-elle misogyne ?

  You can read the article in English here Vous pouvez lire l’article en anglais ici     Considérons les termes français suivants, avec leurs équivalents anglais :  fils                   fille                    son          daughter garçon            fille         […]

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