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Word and Phrase Origins

~20400 answered questions
Parent Category: English Language
Includes questions related to the origins and etymology of English words and phrases.
Damascus is a type of steel used usually of older firearms and tools
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Baseball I don't think there was a specific date but according to Bill James's Historical Baseball Abstract "base ball" became "baseball" in common usage sometime between 1910 and 1930, depending on the publication the word was printed in.
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It's just a nickname for the area between the 20 yard line and goal-line where an offense has a good chance at scoring. You could also say its a warning for opposing defenses to make a stop during the opposing team's drive. It's basically a nickname that came into being as a warning to the defense w…
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"Fore" is another word for "ahead" (think of a ship's fore and aft). Yelling "fore" is simply a shorter way to yell "watch out ahead" (or "watch out before"). It allows golfers to be forewarned of an incoming ball, in other words.
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Obviously the idea of 'drama' as human beings producing a performance symbolising something else has been around for almost as long as Homo sapiens or even erectus.Drama was practised in some form or another in most ancient civillisations. Drama as we know it, performed by actors in 'theatres' was i…
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Intents and Purposes The correct phrase is "to all intents and purposes." This phrase dates back to the 1500s and originated in English law, where it was "to all intents, constructions, and purposes." In modern usage, "for all intents and purposes" is also acceptable. The phrase means "for all pract…
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The word knight derives from Old English (Anglo-Saxon) cniht, meaning page boy or servant, which in turn was likely derived from German Knecht, which also meant boy or servant. The first knights were cavaliers (men who fought on horseback) sworn (by an oath called fealty) to the personal service of …
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It is an ironic phrase. The Irish have been, and are a spectacularly unlucky race. The "luck of the Irish" is BAD luck, as any reading of Irish history will document. When I did my Master's thesis on Irish references in the American language, I found the original and proper use of this irony goes c…
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"The Wearing of The Green" was written by a Dubliner, Dion Boucicault (1820-1890). After America's revolution, the Irish thought it was time for their own independence. The color greem became a symbol of sympathy for Irish independence and the British actually began executing persons found wearing a…
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Not really. Irish wear a lot of green. A lucky clover is green. So,basically it means good luck. Also you might just be superstitious. love and peace funnygal709 :) Actually the phrase did indeed refer to Bad Luck. There's also a variation on Murphy's Law: 'If it can go wrong, it will. 'Tis the luc…
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It means may everything be easy for you in life. And may God personally protect over you. Its an very old Irish blessing, said at funerals and at solemn occasions.
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Erin go bragh is an English phonetic spelling of Éirinn go brách, which in Irish means "Ireland forever." It is an Irish expression of allegiance to Ireland.
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Ireland forever. More usually spelled "Erin go bragh" or "Erin go braugh" it is a phonetic English approximation of the Irish Gaelic "Éirinn go brách". Éire is a more standard spelling of Éirinn. See the wikipedia: Erin go bragh
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Answer When the abuse has been "gratuitous" (sadistic), repeated, and protracted, conceptual closure is not enough. Retribution is called for, an element of vengeance, of restorative justice and a restored balance. Recuperation hinges on punishing the delinquent and merciless party. The penal int…
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Technology comes from the combination of the two words techni which means art and Logos which means talking. Techne-Art,Craft and Logia-Study,Theory First of all I am Greek. The word Techno- comes from the Greek word Techne which means "art". Also -logy means to talk about something. 1) On March…
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The information entered and how the information is entered is a very dominate role in field/record level validation. However they share the same goal to enforce rules consistently, to write less code.
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Sideburns General Ambrose Everett Burnside from the Union Army wore side whiskers with a moustache, while shaving the hair on his chin. This style was known as Burnside's. The word then became burnsides, and then sideburns. Ambrose Burnside, a Union General during the civil war, sported a ustach…
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America is named after explorer Amerigo Vespucci. The official name of our country is United States of America thus we are called "Americans" not just by the Britons but by most nations around the world. As noted above, the Americas were named after Amerigo Vespucci, an Italian navigator working in…
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The saying is actually "Desperate times call for desperate measures." The origin of this proverb: This is a variant of the proverb "Desperate diseases must have desperate remedies." This goes back to the Latin _extremis malis extrema remedia_ 'extreme remedies for extreme ills.' The earliest Engl…
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Pareve Foods that are neither meat nor dairy are called pareve (also "parevine") in Judaism. This means that they contain absolutely no meat or dairy derivatives, and have not been cooked or mixed with any meat or dairy foods. The reason behind needing to know if foods are pareve or not is that…
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No that isn't true. I speak in behalf of my own experience. I was with a guy, he was extremely disrespectful, he lied and always tried to control me. He even cheated and forced me to stay, physically. I stayed, but I cheated on him, and after a while I left and got with the man I was cheating with. …
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Answer = 90. Four score and ten refers to years. A 'score' is twenty, so four of them would be 80, plus ten, it's 90. The term 'score' was used in the bible and in famous speeches. Answer The word score originates from Old English scoru "twenty," from Old Norse skor "mark, tally", in the sense of sa…
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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 a…
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The place Moxie Falls was so named by natives due to the strange tasting black water found there. The word Moxie therefore became associated with guts/ digestion due to the acquired taste of the water, which later inspired the creator of Moxie Soda. The origin of the word Moxie is unclear, but it…
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The term southpaw developed from the fact that left-handed pitchers face south because baseball diamonds are laid out with home plate to the west. The term has been traced back to 1885.
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In 1971 a group of San Rafael High School students, called the Waldos, used to gather around 4:20pm to smoke marijuana, so "420" became the slang for signifying the time to light up. It later evolved into a term for potheads or just for the drug itself.Coincidentally, it was Hitler's birthday. But i…
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The following geometers were born in turkey; Thales of Miletus (c. 630-c 550) Anaximander of Miletus (c. 610-c. 547) Anaximenes of Miletus (fl. c. 546.)
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The Asiatic Lion (Panthera Leo Persica, to give its latin name, also called the Eurasion and Persian lion) is where the word pussycat derived from "Purrsicass" by the Romans, which was way before the 1500's.
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Beating a Red-Headed Step-ChildInput from contributors:"Beating you like a red-headed stepchild" refers to a terrible beating. It is a variation of "beating you like a rented mule."Etymology (the origin of words and phrases) is notoriously hard to pin down. The etymology of this one obviously has so…
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I believe the expression 'to get your goat' has it's origins in horse racing. Race horses are very high-strung animals. Goats are often used as companion animals, to keep a horse calm. Someone wanting to fix a race would slip into the barn the night before the race, steal the goat, then an upset, di…
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I assume you mean the English Language. As far as I know most of the English language stems from Latin --- Most of the words in everyday use in English are of Anglo-Saxon origin, which in turn is derived from West Germanic. --- German is known as the cousin of English, however, the German tribes ke…
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No. It comes from the Latin word "par" meaning "equal".
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Who's Your Daddy Best Answer on the net thus far.. by Scoundral on May 30th, 2005"Who's your daddy?" is originally a sexual referance regarding Submission. When a man and a woman.... get together, it's not uncommon for her to refer to him as "daddy" or "papi", she is basically being obedient to him…
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Since about 1960, the word "gay" is a common noun often used to refer to homosexuals of both sex: a man who is sexually attracted to men, and also less frequently a woman who is sexually attracted to women. It is also used as an adjective referring to something or someone that is somehow related to …
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The Grass is Greener on the Other Side Grass looks greener on the other side, because it's the grass that you don't have. The saying points out precisely this aspect of some people's psychology: that they think that what they want is better than what they have and in many cases they could be wrong.T…
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The word Internet comes from "Inter-Networking" which is simply the description applied to several "computer networks" linked together. The concept of internetworking first appeared to enable the connection of research and academic institutions. In 1983, it had reached a point whereby individual ne…
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Answer The reality is that you can become pregnant when you ovulate and there is no sure way to determine ovulation. Everybody is different and the time during the month a girl ovulates is not very predictable. There is no "rule of thumb" for unsafe sexual activity. The withdrawal method ranges …
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Origins_of_Drama Drama in the days of ancient Greece and Rome was considered the highest form of expression, and was done for several reasons: to provide an appeasement to the gods (i.e. a good harvest or if rain was needed), and later in that period, it functioned as a way to express the moral ques…
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When Drama Began As far as history records for us. Churches controlled music so tightly that these traveling shows started out doing plays in towns and actors would change only their hats or so to play different characters. There were eventually stages built where the enterances were customary. I…
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Answer This is found in the Holy Bible. life for life, eye for eye, tooth for tooth, hand for hand Exodus 21:23, 24 The law of "an eye for an eye" is usually called the law of retribution, or "lex talionis" (Latin, lex [law] and talio [like]; the punishment is like the injury), or the law of eq…
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This remark originally appeared in the introduction to a POGO book, where Walt Kelly paraphrases Oliver Hazard Perry's famous dispatch after having won the battle of Lake Erie: "We have met the enemy and he is ours." Kelly writes "We have met the enemy, and not only is he ours, he may be us." Kelly …
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An Irish American is someone who has immigrated to America from Ireland, and families of those that immigrated here. We Americans are rather fond of those Irish, though, so on St. Patrick's Day, just about all of us wear green! We have parades in several of our cities to celebrate that special day, …
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According to the USGA Handicap Manual, "Rule 33-6 empowers the committee in charge of the competition to determine how and when a halved match or a stroke play tie is decided. The decision should be published in advance." So there's no firm answer to your question. The USGA recommends that the handi…
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Generation X usually refers to people born roughly between 1966 and 1980, give or take a few years on either end. (Some consider Generation X to begin a bit later than 1966 and sometimes end before 1980--say, by 1977 or so.) It also may refer to those whose "teen years" included all or part of the 1…
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Turn off the power. Take the box apart. Attach the box to the wall either using the studs inside the wall (if there are no holes in the box to let you do this, you need to drill them into the metal box...if this is beyond your skill level call an electrician) Or else, attach the box surface-m…
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Symbolism of Two DovesDoves are a rare breed. they choose 1 mate to be with for their lifetime.If the other dies the one left will not find another mate.They will spend the rest of their lives alone.Therfor the symbol of two dove mean an everlasting love.  Doves also mean God's love. He loves …
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As singing and dancing for the gods in forest glades. Then the dancing floor was built, and seats made in a semicircle for an audience. Actors were added, first one to relate a story theme to complement the singing, then a second actor and then a third.
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The dictionary defines "trivia" as: Insignificant or inessential matters; trifles. A collection of insignificant or obscure items, details, or information - little known or rare facts. Plural of trivium - grammar, logic, and rhetoric, three of the seven liberal arts that formed the basis of med…
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THEY DON'T, HOWEVER "W" CHASSIS GM CARS ARE SENSITIVE TO TIRE ROTATION. THEY SHOULD BE ROTATED AT LEAST EVERY 6K MILES. OR THE REAR TIRES TEND TO CUP OR CHOP.
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See the wikipedia article on "Erin go bragh".
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it usually means Limited Edition  Yes, on Sunbirds it did mean Limited Edition because all LE's are 4 cyl. My SE is the Special Edition and sports a 3.1L V6.i have to say that's not all true couse my 3.1l v6 is a LE
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The notion of coining words (as if they were money) seems to have started with an Elizabethan writer by the name of Puttenham. In 1589 his hot new title, "English Poesie" hit the streets and in volume 3, on page 259 (yawn) he moans about "Young schollers not halfe well studied..." who "seeme to coig…
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Answer The Winchester Model 1906 was Winchesters answer to a reduced cost Model 1890. One in very good condition could bring as much $750 to $800 dollars, although you would probably have to find a Winchester collector to get that much. One with only about 10% of its original finish left but sti…
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The answers below refer to Phoenician, Greek and Roman sources on the subject. From earliest Egyptian sources, officially dated at circa 2500 BC, Kh-afre, fourth king of the 4th dynasty reveals that an early Egyptian king had the name "Africa". That is because modern Egyptologists and others often m…
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Easter is now a Christian and Catholic celebration of the of Jesus Christ's resurrection. But the roots and origins of Easter comes from the Pagan religion. Easter was named after the fertility Goddess' Eostre or Ostara.
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You weave in and out of a series of 5 feet tall gates inside the ground along a defined course. If you skip a gate you DNF "did not finish". The faster you complete the course the better. It is important to hit the gates every time you go for the gate...the correct gear will prevent you from getting…
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Emotional blackmail Emotional blackmail is an expression of a different emotion than expected, unless demands are met. It is something that NO ONE WHO REALLY LOVES would do. It can be something someone USES against you (such as s/he may say you are mentally ill, crazy, etc.) and it CAN work if s/he …
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Shakespeare's Proprietary Lingo Many words in English were coined by William Shakespeare. Here is a very small list of words he invented: AccusedAddictionAdvertisingAmazementArouseAssassinationBanditBedroomBeachedBlanketBumpCaterChampionCountlessEpilepticFixtureFlawedGenerousHintLonelyMimicNegotiat…
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get a job
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Origins of the Word Jew The word Jew came from the name Judah, who was one of the 12 sons of Jacob, from whom the 12 tribes of Israel are descended. When the Jews were expelled from the Land of Israel, the tribe of Judah was the last to go and the tribe from which most present-day Jews are consider…
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"What is the meaning of No Compulsion in Religion?" HUMAN RIGHTS IN ISLAM by Rifat Hassan Right to Life The Qur�an upholds the sanctity and absolute value of human life [1] and points out that, in essence, the life of each individual is comparable to that of an entire community and, therefore,…
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If you talk to a dairy farmer who grazes his cows they are taken home morning and evening for milking, but in a natural state they would never come home.
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Its not possible for there to be someone out there for everyone as the ratio of women to men is not 1:1 its 4:1. so how can there be someone out there for everyone if there is not enough men to go around. there are 4 times more women than men. this should be an assurance whatsoever as its false hope…
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Answer The expression is American in origin, though it has become extremely common in the UK since 2004. In the article you mention, Marcel Berlins called it "the phrase I most hate in the whole world", because it has become such a cliché. Before 2004 it only turned up in text written in or refe…
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It is a corruption of "By Jesus," and is a mild epithet used to express disbelief or amazement. I believe " Jesus ! " without the " By " expresses shock, etc. as above, but is not an epithet [ a disparaging name ]. However, the older slang usage, " He beat the livin' B'Jesus out of him " indicated…
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Answer The beginnings of the word come from a phrase such as, "would it bring you pleasure to ..." Pleasure in that context is only intended as asking if someone would LIKE to do something. The phrase has morphed into, "would you please ..." It's intended only as a manner of expressing courtesy …
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Answer An outdoor sports store in Atlanta offered me $65. The gun is about 55+ years old in perfect condition. Used only a few times. He said he could sell it for $90 but I think he is too low. So, I still have it for sale. Answer This little bolt action .22 was manufactured from 1940 to 1965…
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The phrase "fourscore and ten" does not appear in any translation of the Bible that I've been able to find. The American Standard Version and the King James Version do use the archaic term "score", meaning "twenty". Example from Psalms 90:10: The days of our years are threescore years and ten (that…
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You don't say how old you are or what sex you are but your Body Mass Index (24.6)is at the upper limit of normal if you are an adult. As long as you are fit with some muscle mass you are not overweight.The latest thinking also suggests that your waist mesurement should be less than half your height,…
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Answer The original games began in 776 BC as part of a religious festival. The ancient Greeks often engaged in athletic contests in association with religious observances. Homer describes them being held as part of funeral rites in the Iliad. The ancient games were held every four years, the Gree…
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The slang word tit derrives from the word teat, which is correctly pronounced either as tĭt (tit) or tēt (teet). A teat is the small, exterior part of the body from which milk is discharged. For humans, the teats are the nipples on a woman's breasts; for cows, teats are the finger-shaped protrus…
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Answer The week of seven days was adopted in Rome somewhere about 400 AD, and spread into Europe, but had been recognized as a period of time long before that in the east. It was probably chosen to give one day each to each of the seven planets known in antiquity. In the southern countries of Eur…
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Your short and long range goals should speak to your character. Your short term goals should entail getting hired by the company in question. Long range goals can include obtaining additional degrees or obtaining a management position in the industry you seek employment.
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It was the old army sergeant that was supposed to paint the new hospital ward red. He needed 20 gallons, but the general only gave him 10. He found 10 gallons of white left over from painting his own house white, so he mixed it all together. What happened? Magic! P-I-N-K.Crayola CrayonCarnation Pink…
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This saying actually comes from New Zealand. They believe that they are at the top of the world not the bottom and hence say, "Top of the Morning." Over the years, it has been mistakenly assumed that this phrase originated in Ireland. Following are more opinions from WikiAnswers contributors: I…
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Irish (Gaelic):Éirinn go brách (aer'-rin guh brawch)Scottish Gaelic: ...
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The word "cuss" is a dialectical variation of the word "curse". It derives from the old superstition that a person could call down the wrath of a god or other superhuman entity on someone with the use of certain words. "To swear" originally was to call upon a god to witness the truth of a statement …
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Origin of FAQs FAQs became popular in the earliest days of the Internet. Wikipedia cites them as appearing in the early 1980s with the pre-cursors of the Internet. They became widespread with Internet USENET newsgroups. The letters usually stand for "Frequently Asked Questions" or sometimes "Fact…
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Answer This is a monogram of the name of Jesus Christ. From the 3rd century the names of Christ were sometimes shortened, particularly in Christian inscriptions (IH and XP, for Jesus and Christus). In the 4th century the "sigla" (chi-rho) occurs not only as an abbreviation but also as a symbol. …
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The origin of the expression "the Bee's Knees" appears to have been in America in the 1920s. It means something along the lines of "the height of excellence."
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The marathon is named after a town in Greece which was the site of the battle of Marathon in 490 BC. The battle was won by the Athenian army which defeated the Persians. As legend has it, after the victory, a messenger named Philippides ran from Marathon to Athens, a distance of approximately 26 mil…
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oxford, ms 38655
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Contrary to the popular belief that the phrase is derived from the the famous catchphrase 'Whats'up, Doc?' of the cartoon character Bugs Bunny, it is not. The phrase appears in Jack London's The Sea Wolf (1904), chapter 25 (-- "What's up?" I asked Wolf Larson.--) Another referance to 'whatsup' can…
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It was made in Middle English as a pronoun and was a derivation of the Old English pronoun hit.
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Conceit and confidence are similar and separated by a thin line. Conceited is considered to be negative while confidence is considered to be positive. The following are answers about each: Developing a conceited attitude is common and not hard. If you have had low self esteem for awhile and you hav…
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The usual term the army uses for such facilities, whether it is a simple ditch or indoor plumbing, is "latrine."
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Answer In the U.S. Army, which has so many acronyms, expressions and opaque phrases that it seems to deserve its own language, there is one word that is quite possibly uttered more than any other. That word is ��hooah.�� Pronounced HOO-ah. Alternatively spelled hua and huah. Just don�…
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No, it's not true. It's an amusing coincidence that separating parts of the word "therapist" creates the words "the rapist", however, the two have nothing to do with each other. Therapist is derived from therapy plus "ist", which is a suffix meaning a person who is concerned with or practices the …
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Until the Fat Lady Sings...A reference to Kate Smith, the proverbial "fat lady" who hailed the rise of the Philadelphia Flyers "Broadstreet Bullies" during the 1970s with her rousing renditions of "God Bless America."  More Information:There are three basic possibilities for the origin of thi…
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There is not really a formula from what I have gotten, but I did get this approximate conversion from a medical source. Unfortunatly it doesn't go very high (my prescription is worse than what this goes up to too.) Hope it gives a little more info though.20/10 Plano (zero) 20/15 Plano 20/20 Plano …
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The convergence of two superstitions between the number 13 and Friday seem to be at the heart of many questions concerning this particular superstition. So lets start with those. FRIDAY has been an inauspicious day for a very long time, and in many varied cultures. It has been held to be both unluck…
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This is a British term meaning pregnant; I cannot find an origin for the term.
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the definition of vandalism: (1) is to ruin or destroy someone else's property. (2) destroy something that is not yours.
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Answer No. The only rules incumbent on the keeper as regards uniform are identical to those the rest of the players must observe, except that the keeper's uniform must make it easy to distinguish him from his teammates, the other team, and the officials. Rolling up a long-sleeved keeper jersey's…
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SCUBA is an acronym for Self-Contained Underwater Breathing Apparatus. These initials originated in 1939 in the US Navy to refer to US military diver's rebreather sets. As with radar, the acronym has become so familiar that it is often not capitalized and is treated as an ordinary word: for exam…
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They may be there Ah but there were some around. the angle that you were looking at just didn't permit you to see them. This is caused by the angle of the sun's rays that make the small gnat virtually invisible. The other answer... they flew in when you weren't looking. They suddenly appeared as…
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The word comes from the French phrase deux, which means "at two" (as in needing two more points to win). Also, there is a Latin prefix in it (du) which mean two; twice.
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We use this expression when we want to keep the valuable things when we get rid of the things we don't want. It is usually used in the negative to mean that we don't want to throw out the good stuff when we throw out the bad stuff.Is an old saying which means - inadvertently losing or getting rid of…
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Since data is a Latin plural word, its Latin singular form is datum.
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Origins of DramaIt originated in Greece around 534 B.C.religious ceremonies dedicated to Dionysus. APEXS
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