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Category Archives: Etymology
When we looked at the origins of Christmas traditions, we discovered that some Christian traditions have pagan origins. So perhaps it is not too surprising that Christian and pagan elements also blended together to create the celebration of Easter. In … Continue reading
Acid Test Meaning In the world of finance and banking, the term “acid test ratio” is a number that tells you about the financial integrity of the company. It tells you how likely a company is to pay its short-term … Continue reading
The phrase “butter wouldn’t melt in his mouth” is one of the most misunderstood phrases in the English language. Some people think it is used to mean that a person is sweet and innocent whilst others are adamant that it … Continue reading
The idiom, “in a nutshell” is used when you want to say that the description you’re giving is concise, to-the-point and brief. It is the information boiled down to its simplest form. The question is: where do nuts enter this … Continue reading
Today, whilst making an observation about the imaginative talents of youtuber John Green for his creatively named computer-game football team, the Swindon Town Swoodilypoopers, my companion laughingly said “Eat your heart out Dr Seuss!”. Mid-laugh I suddenly realised what he’d … Continue reading
A toast is a piece of lightly scorched bread, right? So why do we call the raising of our glasses at events like weddings, a toast? Toasted bread and raising a wine glass in a toast really do have more … Continue reading
Behind every name is a story, and this goes for place names too. Although each individual place has a unique specific definition, there are some common components and terms for the names of English-speaking cities, towns and settlements. Knowing the … Continue reading
Have you ever played cards and suddenly wondered why we call the Jack cards Jacks? It seems a bit strange and out of place considering the other picture cards are a King and a Queen. Why not call it a … Continue reading
We’ve all known Smart Alecs in our time. And most of us have been Smart Alecs at least once in our lives too! It’s those moments when you take joy in sharing something clever you’ve learned and inadvertently come off … Continue reading