Tag Archives: sports & games
at sixes and sevens

at sixes and sevens

Gilbert and Sullivan: All at Sixes and Sevens – image: Thimothy Knapman       The phrase at sixes and sevens means in a state of total confusion or disarray. Based on the language of dicing, the phrase was originally to set (all) on six and seven. It denoted the hazard of one’s whole fortune, or carelessness as to the consequences of one’s actions. […]

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to leave in the lurch

to leave in the lurch

  A game of tric-trac (about 1630), by the Dutch painter Judith Leyster (1609-60) image: Worcester Art Museum       MEANING   to leave an associate or friend abruptly and without assistance or support when they are in a difficult situation     ORIGIN   FRENCH & GERMAN   Middle French lourche was the […]

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from pillar to post

from pillar to post

    The phrase from pillar to post means: from one party or place of appeal or resource to another; hither and thither; to and fro; implying repulse and harassment. Oxford English Dictionary - 1909   It was originally from post to pillar, and is first recorded around 1420: And when he thedyr came, Humylyté hym took A token and bad […]

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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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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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