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Word and Phrase Origins

Parent Category: English Language
Includes questions related to the origins and etymology of English words and phrases.
Maybe someone is really pretty and then one day you realise howugly they are skin deep. Beauty is skin deep means that if you'repretty inside then you're pretty .
This is a Middle English word, and derives from an imitation of the  cat itself.
Those who uttered this phrase wanted to be represented in  parliament so that they could have a say in their taxation rather  than no one speaking for them
well, i'm not sure i can help you with that, but i do know that the  word "butt" originated in Asia/Australia, meaning your "behind"
"First Nations" is a term used in Canada to refer to the remaining  native populations, those called "Native Americans" in the US. They  were actually also the first people to come and settle here. "first  Nations"    The term "First Nations" is used because these people are now  treated as...
That it doesnt mean anything if you dont make them say anything but people usually say "it doesn't mean a thing"
Origin: alteration of settle. First use: 1716
It was a custom to plant daisies over the grave of a loved one.
Answer this question...evolve
The English term Guinea comes directly from the Portuguese word  Guiné, which emerged in the mid-15th century to refer to the lands  inhabited by the Guineus, a generic term for the black African  peoples south of the Senegal River (as opposed to the 'tawny'  Zenaga Berbers, north of it, whom...
The phrase "The Real McCoy" refers to "the real thing" or "the  genuine article"
I've been looking into this, and as far as I can tell, it entered common use through a comic in the 50's, though I haven't found which one. Recently, though, I've been reading a book called Mao, in which there is some discussion about a spy who played a critical role in the Battle of Shanghai in...
The English word "word" was first used before 900 AD, and is associated with many words of similar meanings in surrounding languages: the Dutch woord, German Wort, Old Norse orth, and Gothic waurd.
  Etymologically, silver is derived from the Indo-European language from the root word - "ARG" - meaning white/to shine.
The word "studio" comes from Latin. It is related to the words  'study' and 'student'.
A Primadonna is basically someone how always wants to be In the centre of attention and always gets what they want.
Some one who "knows it all" without much experience. Answer: The "Prima Donna" (First Lady) is the chief female, and usually most talented, singer in an opera. Talented folk are often accused of putting on airs and being demanding so the term has come to mean a demanding and often conceited...
Like many chiefly British words, 'loo' came from the French. Back in the days before modern plumbing, French commoners would empty their chamberpots directly onto the streets. A common courtesy was to yell, "Gardez l'eau!" (pronounced "Gar-day low", means "Watch out for the water!") to make sure no...
They are just odd words in the English language that don't apply to  some of the rules.
  Southern England was occupied by saxon tribes and divided into Wessex (West Saxons), Sussex (South Saxons), Essex (East Saxons) and Middlesex (the central Saxons).
Japanese teapots are kept warm with small candles underneath them - hence tea light. Google image search for 'teapot warmer' to see a picture.
Saxatile is a Latin word meaning, literally, 'growing or living among rocks'
knowledge of insignificant importance.
Homines in domibus vitreis habitantes lapidos jacere non debent.
Belive me you don't want to find out bro.
in Hebrew it is chochma (you pronounch the ch like there's a popcorn stuck in your throat.) it is spelt חוחמה      French : Connaissance [konaysans] or Savoir [savoar]
The expression comes from the Bible. It occurs in Matthew 5:13 and is part of the Sermon on the Mount: "You are the salt of the earth; but if the salt loses its flavor, how shall it be seasoned? It is then good for nothing but to be thrown out and trampled underfoot by men." Accounts in other...
There are three syllables in the word origin. The syllable  divisions are or-i-gin, and the accent is on the first syllable.
  what is the origin of the word nincompoop or ninkumpoop
Alcohol is a substance found in alcoholic drinks, while liquor is a name for these drinks. So for example one might say "I'm drinking liquor, which contains alcohol." Liquor is a beverage that contains alcohol. Not all alcoholic beverages are liquors though, beer, wine, malt beverages all contain...
Alpha and beta the first 2 letters of the greek alphabet.
Do you really mean "toronoto", or do you mean Toronto? Because so far, I can't find the word "toronoto" anywhere except as a typo for Toronto. Thanks, cordwainer
Yes I believe so. Physics comes from the greek word "φύση" which means Nature and "φυσικός" (physikos) means natural or environmental (also in modern greek its work for a physist. Aristotle established the word's modern scientific meaning.
All parts of it come from Greek. auto - derived from Late Greek word autosbiography - derived from Late Greek word biographia
I'm sure it comes from Populace or the population, meaning from or of the people. If most of the people like something, than it is popular. That may not be the technical or dictionary description, but it's the general idea.
the rebellion ended but The fire still burns. King won the fight,  but The fire still burns.
it came from a greek word that means i hate you
I cannot give the percentage but it is why children have trouble learning to read and spell. We teach all the English rules and we SHOULD teach the French rules along with the English. The reason is for 300 years the English were forced to speak French when the where successfully invaded by the...
well the so and so phrase comes from Italy from people that are pissed off at someone else........... in Italy, criminals use the phrase so and so to get their head chopped off above a pirate ship. but before they used so and so the phrase, they used to use the phrase im an idiot in Greece to get...
  <Ricky> comes from "Richard." "Richard" means <Ricardo> en español
A very wide, looping punch intended to throw as much bodyweight as possible behind a punch. Can cause a KO if it connects, but this depends on your own power, the ability of the man in front of you to take a punch, your accuracy (no use if you punch the cranium), and the structural integirty of the...
My dictionary says it comes from Latin: de- completely + relinquere - to abandon.
what the *beep* i cant find what the stupid Greek origins to the word phonics because wiki answers has no answers!!! <><><><><> When you write in this part, it goes to the 'already answered" bucket, so your'e lucky we caught this one on the bounce. The Greek root is ...
The phrase "what the dickens" was coined by William Shakespeare and originated in The Merry Wives Of Windsor Act 3, scene 2, 18--23, it was an oath to the devil said by Mrs Page.
In the old 8mm stag movies the moment of male organism was represented by the man's socks flying off.
It comes from a French word of the same spelling meaning 'food that restores'. Used in 1765 by Boulonger
The name Punxsutawney derives from a Delaware Indian term which translates to "town of sandflies "
  it means you can hear very good
It is incorrect because of redundancy. It is correct to use the words separately like "Please be assured..." or "Rest assured that..."
He is the epitome of goodness
Front and center? Well i think it means either to get ready, to be ready.Or stand before me.
Someone who has no pity or mercy and is usually cocky. Thinking he or her are unstoppable and invincible.
When hospital staff changed the sheets of patients (that would lie on sheets for several days) they used a technique that would keep the sheets tight and smooth under the patient, by folding the corners so they STAYED tucked in place. That fold became known as a "hospital corner".
I think you managed to extract only part of the complete phrase. I suspect there is another word: commerce. There are cases that involve interstate commerce. I found a Supreme Court case entitled: Corn Products Refining Co. v. Eddy, 249 U.S. 427 The second paragraph contains the phrase: ...
Prestige is a term pertaining to reputation or success, distinction and occasionally wealth, from a particular achievement or otherwise positive attribute. It often refers to a reputable person of high rank. It comes from the Latin word praestīgiae, meaning tricks.'prestige' (an English word) =...
The word should be verdigris. It is a green crystallized coating seen on copper, for example on building roofs or sculptures. The OED states its origin as being from Old French "vert de Grece" or green of Greece.
The root word of "windows" is "window." The word "windows" contains  the suffix "s" which is added to make the word a plural noun.
in australia, the song hey true blue, john williamson is the artist
The word "with" is not a Latin word nor is it derived from a Latin word. The Latin word for "with" is cum.
The Navy began using it in WWII as an object detection system. It is an acronym for [RA]dio [D]etection [A]nd [R]anging
Krypton comes from the word kryptos, which is Greek for "hidden one".
    There are many leaves on that tree.   (pl. of leaf)subject     She always leaves extra cookies out.   (verb)         A spell was cast over the land.   subject     She didn't spell November correctly.   verb
The word "cathedral" comes from a Latin word cathedra which means "chair or throne". The cathedral is the building which houses the chair or throne on which a bishop or other prelate in the Roman Catholic church presides. In Catholic teaching, a papal statement which is made "ex cathedra" or from...
The word Gattaca derived from the 4 DNA nitrogen bases: G(Guanine) A(Andenine) T(Thymine) and C(Cytosine)
Contra = Latin for 'against' + Dicere = Latin for 'to speak' The word itself means "speak against" or "assert the contrary". Information obtained from the related link listed below:
There is debate about the dash between the two words. Inside Self Storage, the largest publication in the industry, seems insistent on using the dash. However you'll notice the majority of self storage facilities and other websites (including selfstorage.com) do not use a dash. Since self storage...
  A wise man once told me that Cowboys used the phrase to describe money or gold or some other form of currency thrown in on top of a trade to make the trade even and give the the other a little something to stick in his boot, once a commonplace to store extra cash to conceal it. Hope this helps...
This topic is somewhat contentious with archaeologists working in the Pacific. The current theory suggests that Polynesia was colonised by an expansion of the Lapita people from islands in east Melanesia. It was first thought that they made have been colonised from Micronesia but this now seems...
Although this is a bad question to ask: [See links below for more]
if the shoe fits, wear itin a heartbeatin cold bloodin seventh heavenin the driver's seatin the knowin the thick of thingsin the redin the fleshin the longrunan inside jobit's Greek to meit takes two to tangoivory towerin the trenchesin the limelightif walls could talkif at first you don't succeed,...
Unite, link, fasten, couple, combine, amalgamate or consolidate
This is an urban legend. There was no such law. The phrase "rule of thumb" comes, rather, from the time-honored practice of using the thumb to make rough measurements (think "rule" as in "ruler"). In some languages, in fact, the word for "inch" is the same as the word for "thumb" (e.g., French pouce...
A Sunday bite is when someone with a more prominent upper jaw juts the chin (lower jaw) forward to make the upper jaw look less prominent. this is purely 'psychological' and is done for 'esthetics '... The true reason for the origin is- in US 'Sunday' mass(celebrations) in the churches the choir ...
A refrain phrase is a phrase that repeats itself in a poem. Here is an example: There was a tree With a bumblebee It awfully stung me WHY DEOS IT HAVE TO BE ME There was a truck About to hit a tree Instead it hit me then a duck WHY DEOS IT HAVE TO BE ME In these cases, why DEOS it have to be me is...
credence credit credulous credonkulous
The word wasn't "discovered", it was coined from Greek: photo for light and synthesis to make. So, making something from light.
Meaning 'to stab or to pierce' either by a bull or a spear. From the 13th Century, the Old English word 'Gar'
Carl that kills people
That spelling is UK/British English. In America it's spelled 'specialize'.
it now represents a code of behaviour within a society, and first appeared in English in 1750. The original French word signified 'ticket of admission'. It is worth noting that rules for social conduct first appeared in Egypt around 2400BC
Belittle, littleness
  == Unfathomable -incomprehensible ==   To determine the etymology of this word, we have to derive its origin from the main root - fathomable - from the Old English word, faethm.
I think I ask this question using stay instead of live because I live and teach in an urban area and many of my students have moved multiple times. Also, I was in the military and when I stayed in the barracks, I never said, "I live in such and such barracks". Nor would I ask someone which barracks...