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Category Archives: Etymology
Why do we say someone is a “goody two shoes” when they are annoyingly and smugly well-behaved? What is the origin of the phrase goody two shoes?
Why do we say someone is “as sick as a dog”?
Why do we say: “You’ve got egg on your face” when someone’s done something leaving them looking embarrassed or foolish? What is the “egg on your face” origin?
The reason why Brits call toilets “loos” is one of the unsolved mysteries of etymology, however this is not for lack of trying! The word has been traced to rise into common usage around the 1920s, and plenty of theories … Continue reading
Why do we use this “£” symbol to denote a British pound? What is the origin of the pound sign?
It’s not immediately intuitive how pounds became abbreviated to lbs. Why do we write lbs as an abbreviation for pounds?
Since the 14th century1,2 people have declared things to be dead as doornails. It makes sense as doornails are indeed dead inanimate objects, but then so are diamonds, doughnuts, and doorknobs. So why were doornails chosen of all things? What … Continue reading
You may have already met Rupert the pig on my donate page. Why a pig of all creatures on my donate page? Because he’s a piggy bank of course! (Well, that and because he gallantly offered to help me promote … Continue reading
Since the days of Emily Post it’s been widely known that a prompt reply to an invitation’s RSVP is common courtesy. Whilst many of us are accustomed to seeing RSVP written elegantly on invitations, a surprisingly high amount of us … Continue reading
When someone gets the lion’s share of something (be it a cake, profits from a company, or anything else), it means they are getting most, if not all of it. Why would a lion’s share mean this? Where does this … Continue reading