Tag Archives: word origins

Word Origins

Have you ever thought, as I often do, about the job titles of your servants (‘Maid’, ‘Valet’, ‘Personal Masseuse’ etc) and wondered about the origin of the different words? I came across a simple but interesting example just recently. In Ye … Continue reading

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If it walks like a duck

At the recent annual convention of all my blog followers, I was besieged by requests to add another posting about the origins of words and sayings.                 I got this one from a recent … Continue reading

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Word Origins

As I was getting up this morning, I misread a word on the cover of a book at my bedside as ‘smithereens’. You might think that’s an indication of the weird, not to mention possibly disturbing, way my mind works … Continue reading

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Word Origins

On a historical documentary I was watching recently they  were talking about medieval food and kitchens, and they were roasting meat on a spit. It was one of those huge things that had a handle for turning the meat to … Continue reading

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Howzat?!

An American friend was recently puzzled by a headline which referred to someone “breaking their duck”. We Brits are so used to the term that we don’t realise how odd – and possibly alarming – it must seem to outsiders … Continue reading

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Word Origins

I’d often wondered where today’s rather strange word came from, even though on reflection I should have worked out the first part of it from what I remember of my schoolboy French. I was recently reading the diary of an … Continue reading

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Origins of words and phrases

I came across today’s offering quite by chance when I was dipping into my nineteenth century Bradshaw’s Railway Guide. I’m currently in Ely, Cambridgeshire – a place, if I can digress, that brings back pleasant memories. I once had a … Continue reading

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