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Word and Phrase Origins

Includes questions related to the origins and etymology of English words and phrases.

Asked in Golf, Word and Phrase Origins, Masters Golf Tournament

How much does it cost to play 18 holes at Augusta National Golf Club?

Augusta National Golf Club is an exclusive golf course in Augusta, Georgia and the site of the annual Masters Tournament in April. You cannot play Augusta as a walk-on; you must be invited as a guest of one of the club's members. Augusta National Golf Club has never disclosed the membership cost, but it is believed the initiation fee is between $10,000 and $30,000 with yearly dues costing between $3,000 and $10,000. Dining and lodging and other services are additional costs. Although...
Asked in Translations, Word and Phrase Origins

What does 'Erin go braugh' mean?

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. ...
Asked in Word and Phrase Origins, Glue and Adhesives

What is the meaning of the idiom 'sent to the glue factory'?

Basically it means something that's no longer any use. In past times, old horses (nags) were slaughtered, and their carcases sent to the glue factory, as that's all they were deemed good for. ...
Asked in Word and Phrase Origins

Who coined the phrase repetition is the father of learning?

Actually, some versions say "repetition is the mother of learning"-- one of the oldest comes from the ancient Latin: Repetitio est mater studiorum. This translates as "Repetition is the mother of studies." But in modern times, there are a number of versions that use the father, rather than the mother, such as in a song by Lil Wayne, in which he says "repetition is the father of learning." ...
Asked in Calendar, Word and Phrase Origins, Nouns

Why is Month called a month?

The word 'month' is a noun, a word for any of the twelve divisions of a calendar year; a word for a thing. The noun 'month' is a common noun because it is a general word for any month of the year. A common noun is capitalized only when it is the first word in a sentence. First invented and used in Mesopotamia, it is a natural period related to the motion of the moon. Month and moon have the same common origins. ...
Asked in Politics and Government, Word and Phrase Origins, Ireland, Accents and Dialects

What is the meaning of 'Faith and begorrah'?

'Faith and begorrah' means "sure and by God". This is in the dialect of English called Hiberno-English, not in Irish Gaelic, although there are several features of this dialect owing to the Gaelic. ...
Asked in Family Guy, Word and Phrase Origins

What does Marketable skills mean?

skills talents, and training you have that can be used to make money. Example: I never thought that knowing Photoshop could be a marketable skill, but now I am a famous artist. * *above fore-mentioned example is strictly for word use only, knowing photoshop does not actually make you an artist. ...
Asked in D-Day, Word and Phrase Origins

What is the origin of the word chalet?

The earliest use of the word chalet in English was in 1782. It was derived from the Swiss (and French) chalet, which meant "herdsman's hut, Alpine cottage". This was probably a diminutive of the Old French chasel, "farmhouse, house, abode, hut". The origins before Old French are even more tenuous, but chalet is attributed to the Vulgar Latin casalis "belonging to a house", from the Latin casa, "house", or the Old Provincial cala, "a small shelter for ships. ...
Asked in Word and Phrase Origins

Is the word mosquito of Spanish origin?

Yes. "Mosca" is the Spanish word for "fly". The diminutive form of this is "mosquito", or "little fly". ...
Asked in Word and Phrase Origins

Where did the term nervous nellie come from?

Ever heard the phrase, "Whoa, Nellie"? Nell, or Nellie, was an late 19th to early 20th century nickname for a female horse. It was particularly applied to one hitched to a wagon or buggy, probably because those mares were either the only one owned by the household or were the horse most tamed for the harness. Remember, this was the world before and on the cusp of the automobile. A horse was very important for transportation. Being close to the family,...
Asked in Word and Phrase Origins, Definitions

What is vivacious?

Energetic. 17th Century: from Latin vīvax lively.
Asked in Word and Phrase Origins, Ketchup

What is the origin of the word ketchup?

The words "ketchup" and "catsup" both come from the Malay word "kechap," from the Chinese word "ketsiap," a sauce made from fermented fish and brine. Pickled fish sauce may not sound all that appealing on french fries, but the Malay word "kechap" itself really only meant "taste." After the word migrated into English in the 17th century (as "catchup," still an accepted spelling), it was applied to a variety of sauces and condiments. It was only with the importation of the tomato...
Asked in Word and Phrase Origins, History and Origins of Foods

Where did the sandwich come from?

The Earl of Sandwich invented the sandwich in England in 1762. However, there's some disagreement involved with this widely accepted fact. ...
Asked in Conditions and Diseases, Word and Phrase Origins

Who discovered the word disease?

It is a 14th Century French word, meaning 'without ease' or 'discomfort'
Asked in English Language, Word and Phrase Origins

The phrase diurnal motion refers to the?

gradual motion of the constellations from east to west across the sky each night, resulting in different constellations being visible at 4 A.M. than at 10 P.M. on any given night. ...
Asked in Word and Phrase Origins, Nouns

Is the pledge of allegiance a proper noun?

Yes, the Pledge of Allegiance is a proper noun because it's a title. It should be capitalized. ...
Asked in Idioms, Cliches, and Slang, Word and Phrase Origins

What does ride like the wind mean?

Ride really fast so wind will blow in your face. Don't know the orgin, but it infers riding a horse, bicycle or motorcycle. In another interpretation it means, ride really fast, make haste, ride quickly. In other words travel quickly to your destination. ...
Asked in Word and Phrase Origins

Where did the phrase jackpot come from?

tho it was used to mean any big prize by 1944 it came from a late 19th century poker variant in which the ante increased for each new hand when no player was dealt a pair of jacks or better & thus there could result quite a substantial pot ...
Asked in Word and Phrase Origins

What is the etymology of lunar?

The official name of our own moon is Luna. It comes into modern language from Middle English, meaning crescent-shaped. It was adopted there from the Old French word lunaire, and from from Latin lūnāris, meaning of the moon, from lūna, moon ...
Asked in Word and Phrase Origins

Where does the word architect come from?

architect 1563, from M.Fr. architecte, from L. architectus, from Gk. arkhitekton "master builder," from arkhi- "chief" (see archon) + tekton "builder, carpenter". Architecture also is from 1563. Source: Online Etymology ...
Asked in Parenting and Children, Word and Phrase Origins, Manners and Etiquette

What is the meaning of 'You are grounded' when someone does something wrong?

"You are grounded" is a fairly common punishment for kids. It refers to being unable to leave the house except to go to school or family activities. No going to parties, sporting events and the like. In some places it also means no telephone calls. The intent is to restrict social interaction, which may have been the cause of the grounding in the first place. In today's society it is less effective due to cell phones and internet access. ...
Asked in English Language, Word and Phrase Origins

What does the phrase safe harbor mean?

It means people won't mess with you in that specified location. In a legal sense, it refers to a situation where you are immune from liability. For example, if you withhold taxes from your paycheck equal to what you owed last year, then you are in a "safe harbor" from estimated tax penalties, even if you underpay. ...
Asked in Word and Phrase Origins

Who first said the phrase it is what it is?

Erich Fried (6 May 1921 - 22 November 1988), an Austrian poet that settled in England, known for his political-minded poetry. Erich was also a broadcaster, translator and essayist, and wrote Es ist was es ist (It is what it is), in 1983. This is the first use of it I can find. However, Plato is also known for this qoute, though I do not think it applies: "This City is what it is because our citizens are what they are." ...
Asked in Word and Phrase Origins

What is the origin of the word 'vegetable'?

15th century: late Middle English: from Old French, or from late Latin vegetabilis 'animating,' from Latin vegetare, from vegēre 'to enliven'. ...