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The Word Detective

The Word Detective
Semper Ubi Sub Ubi readme: Hey, it’s still March. And it snowed here the other day, real whiteout conditions. So there. Today is Spring-like, which seems to lift the birdies’ spirits but fills me with dread.

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Opie Collection of Children's Literature This site uses cookies to support some content and functions, and also Google Analytics. By using this site you agree to their use. Find out more and opt out » This site uses cookies to support some content and functions, and also Google Analytics. More » The Sunday Times Bonmarché blames Brexit and weather for sliding profits new Bonmarché, the discount clothing retailer, blamed a string of factors, from bad weather to Brexit, for sliding annual profits and its failure to increase market share. The company, which specialises in clothing for women aged over 50, complained that last year had been more challenging than it had expected and that it had not managed to...Bonmarché, the discount clothing retailer, blamed a string of factors, from bad weather to Brexit, for sliding annual profits and its failure to increase market share. The company, which specialises in clothing for women aged over 50, complained that last year had been more challenging than it had expected and that it had not managed to...Bonmarché, the discount clothing retailer, blamed a string of factors, from bad weather to Brexit, for sliding annual profits... Read the full story

The Origins of 9 Great British Insults For as long as people have been speaking the English language, they’ve been deploying it to poke fun at one another. Let's dig a little deeper into the grab bag of insults that language has bequeathed us throughout history, and find out where those terms come from. 1. Wazzock Wazzock was a particularly prevalent—and particularly loutish—insult in the 1990s. At the time, "lad culture" ran throughout British music and television, and wazzock, a North-England accented contraction of the sarcastic wiseacre (a know-it-all) became a powerful tool to shoot people down in an argument.

Perry Index The Perry Index is a widely used index of "Aesop's Fables" or "Aesopica", the fables credited to Aesop, the story-teller who lived in ancient Greece between 620 and 560 BC. Modern scholarship takes the view that Aesop probably did not compose all of the fables attributed to him;[1] indeed, a few are known to have first been used before Aesop lived, while the first record we have of many others is from well over a millennium after his time. Traditionally, Aesop's fables were arranged alphabetically, which is not helpful to the reader.[2] Perry and Rodriguez Adardos separated the Greek fables from the Latin ones, with the Greek ones first; then they arranged each group chronologically and by source; finally they arranged the fables alphabetically within these groups.[2] This system also does not help the casual reader, but is the best for scholarly purposes.[2] Ben Edwin Perry (1892–1968) was a professor of classics at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign from 1924 to 1960.

Ten Unusual Etymologies Books Etymology is the study of the origin of words. Some words have obvious origins. The name for the letter W in English (and several other languages) is named simply and descriptively for its shape. Some words, on the other hand, have unknown origins (where did the word picnic come from) for example. Here are ten words with unusual stories behind their coining.

Theophilus of Adana Saint Theophilus the Penitent or Theophilus of Adana (died ca. 538) was an Orthodox cleric in the sixth century Church who is said to have made a deal with the devil to gain an ecclesiastical position. His story is significant as it is the oldest story of a pact with the Devil, and was an inspiration for the Faust legend. His feast day is 4 February. Eutyches, who claimed to be an eyewitness of the events, is the first to record Theophilus’ story.

Expressions & Sayings Index If you prefer to go directly to the meaning and origin of a specific expression, click on its relevant entry in the alphabetical list below. Use this alphabet to speed up your search: A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z SF Citations for OED This site is maintained by Jesse Sheidlower, Editor at Large of the Oxford English Dictionary. The content side of things is handled by Jeff Prucher and Malcolm Farmer. The project grew out of regular work that was being done for the OED's reading programs. Briefly, research for the OED takes two main forms: general reading, in which a variety of texts are read for any interesting words that are encountered, and targeted research, in which particular terms are specifically analyzed. This can consist of doing searches in electronic databases, sending general researchers to a library to see what they can find, or asking specialists for help in their subject fields.

It’s Never Too Late To Be What You Might Have Been George Eliot? Adelaide Anne Procter? Apocryphal? Anonymous? Dear Quote Investigator: My favorite quotation about untapped potential and enduring spirit is attributed to the prominent Victorian novelist George Eliot: It is never too late to be what you might have been.

"The Word Detective on the Web is the online version of The Word Detective, a newspaper column answering readers’ questions about words and language" by macopa May 14

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