Author Topic: Where Did THAT Come From?  (Read 2823 times)

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Offline daisyxo

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Where Did THAT Come From?
« on: July 06, 2013, 05:15 PM »
amok ... Amok is Malayan in origin, where it is an adjective (amoq) meaning 'fighting frenziedly.'  Its first brief brush with English actually came in the early 16th century, via Portuguese, which had adopted it as a noun (amouco), signifying a 'homicidally crazed Malay.'  This sense persisted until the late 18th century, but by then the phrase run amok, with all its modern connotations, was well established, and has since taken over the field entirely.  The spelling amuck has always been fairly common, reflecting the word's pronunciation ...... from the Arcade Dictionary of Word Origins by John Ayto.

One of my favorite movies featured this line:  "amok, amok, amok
Anyone remember the name of that movie?



Everybody ..... Please feel free to join in and add your own words for "Where Did THAT Come from?
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"Abilities wither under faultfinding, blossom with encouragement." -- Donald A. Laird

Offline A-FRIEND

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Re: Where Did THAT Come From?
« Reply #1 on: July 06, 2013, 05:23 PM »
I love this idea daisyxo. I've always had an interest in the etymology  of words and phrases.

Without rhyme or reason

Lacking in sense or justification
Rhyme and reason are synonymous, so this expression means "without reason". English usage dates back to the sixteenth century, when the phrase was borrowed from the French na Ryme ne Raison. It lives on in modern day French, too, as ni rime ni raison.


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Offline elise

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Re: Where Did THAT Come From?
« Reply #2 on: July 06, 2013, 08:52 PM »
I am learning WAY too much today!  Fascinating stuff!   :tongue
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Re: Where Did THAT Come From?
« Reply #3 on: July 08, 2013, 12:45 PM »
Its raining cats and dogs:

It is raining torrentially.

The first known record of this phrase is in Dean Jonathan Swift's "Polite Conversation" (1873). But it is questionably whether he originated this peculiar hyperbole. More than two centuries previously, Richard Brome write a play entitled "The City Witt" (c.1652) in which one of the characters, Sarpego, says:

From henceforth...
The world shall flow with dunces...
And it shall rain...
Dogs and Polecats, and so forth.
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Offline daisyxo

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Re: Where Did THAT Come From?
« Reply #4 on: July 19, 2013, 11:58 AM »
Very interesting stuff, Earl ... "and it shall rain dogs and polecats, and so forth." .... I think I like that better than "It's raining cats and dogs"
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Offline daisyxo

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Re: Where Did THAT Come From?
« Reply #5 on: July 19, 2013, 12:22 PM »
Quite an interesting definition of "Poetry" --- this was copied from Wikipedia ... http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_poetry


Poetry as an art form predates literacy. Some of the earliest poetry is believed to have been orally recited or sung. Following the development of writing, poetry has since developed into increasingly structured forms, though much poetry since the late 20th century has moved away from traditional forms towards the more vaguely defined free verse and prose poem formats.

Poetry was employed as a way of remembering oral history, story (epic poetry), genealogy, and law. Poetry is often closely related to musical traditions, and much of it can be attributed to religious movements. Many of the poems surviving from the ancient world are a form of recorded cultural information about the people of the past, and their poems are prayers or stories about religious subject matter, histories about their politics and wars, and the important organizing myths of their societies.

Many ancient works, from the Vedas (1700 - 1200 BC) to the Odyssey (800 - 675 BC), appear to have been composed in poetic form to aid memorization and oral transmission, in prehistoric and ancient societies.  Poetry appears among the earliest records of most literate cultures, with poetic fragments found on early monoliths, runestones and stelae.

The oldest surviving poem is the Tale of the Shipwrecked Sailor, written in Hieratic and ascribed a date around 4500 B.C.E. Other sources ascribe the earliest written poetry to the Epic of Gilgamesh written in cuneiform; however, it is most likely that The Tale of the Shipwrecked Sailor predates Gilgamesh by half a millennium. The oldest epic poetry besides the Epic of Gilgamesh are the Greek epics Iliad and Odyssey and the Indian Sanskrit epics Ramayana and Mahabharata. The longest epic poems ever written were the Mahabharata and the Tibetan Epic of King Gesar.

Ancient thinkers sought to determine what makes poetry distinctive as a form and what distinguishes good poetry from bad, resulting in the development of "poetics", or the study of the aesthetics of poetry. Some ancient societies, such as the Chinese through the Classic of History, one of the Five Classics, developed canons of poetic works that had ritual as well as aesthetic importance. More recently, thinkers struggled to find a definition that could encompass formal differences as great as those between Chaucer's The Canterbury Tales and Matsuo Bashō's Oku no Hosomichi, as well as differences in context that span from the religious poetry of the Tanakh to love poetry to rap.

Context can be critical to poetics and to the development of poetic genres and forms. For example, poetry employed to record historical events in epics, such as Gilgamesh or Ferdowsi's Shahnameh, will necessarily be lengthy and narrative, while poetry used for liturgical purposes in hymns, psalms, suras and hadiths is likely to have an inspirational tone, whereas elegies and tragedy are intended to invoke deep internal emotional responses. Other contexts include music such as Gregorian chants, formal or diplomatic speech, political rhetoric and invective, light-hearted nursery and nonsense rhymes, threnodies to the deceased and even medical texts.

The Polish historian of aesthetics, Władysław Tatarkiewicz, in a paper on "The Concept of Poetry," traces the evolution of what is in fact two concepts of poetry. Tatarkiewicz points out that the term is applied to two distinct things that, as the poet Paul Valéry observes, "at a certain point find union. Poetry [...] is an art based on language. But poetry also has a more general meaning [...] that is difficult to define because it is less determinate: poetry expresses a certain state of mind."
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Offline Mystic1

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Re: Where Did THAT Come From?
« Reply #6 on: July 22, 2013, 10:05 PM »
amok ... Amok is Malayan in origin, where it is an adjective (amoq) meaning 'fighting frenziedly.'  Its first brief brush with English actually came in the early 16th century, via Portuguese, which had adopted it as a noun (amouco), signifying a 'homicidally crazed Malay.'  This sense persisted until the late 18th century, but by then the phrase run amok, with all its modern connotations, was well established, and has since taken over the field entirely.  The spelling amuck has always been fairly common, reflecting the word's pronunciation ...... from the Arcade Dictionary of Word Origins by John Ayto.

One of my favorite movies featured this line:  "amok, amok, amok
Anyone remember the name of that movie?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i2PN9tn-NsU



Everybody ..... Please feel free to join in and add your own words for "Where Did THAT Come from?
I believe in making the world safe for our children, but not for our children's children, because I don't think children should be having sex.

Offline daisyxo

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Re: Where Did THAT Come From?
« Reply #7 on: July 23, 2013, 09:23 PM »
love that scene!
~ Marsha ~
 

"Abilities wither under faultfinding, blossom with encouragement." -- Donald A. Laird

Offline A-FRIEND

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Re: Where Did THAT Come From?
« Reply #8 on: August 13, 2013, 07:40 PM »
MAD HATTER

Quote
There are a number of theories about the root of this simile. Perhaps the most intriguing, and also plausible, was offered in "The Journal of the American Medical Association" (vol. 155, no. 3). Mercury used to be used in the manufacture of felt hats, so hatters, or hat makers, would come into contact with this poisonous metal a lot. Unfortunately, the effect of such exposure may lead to mercury poisoning, one of the symptoms of which is insanity.

Famously, Lewis Carroll wrote about the Mad Hatter in "Alice in Wonderland" (1865), but there is at least one earlier reference to the expression: in "The Clockmaker" (1817) by Thomas Haliburton.

These days speakers of American English, who use "mad" to mean "angry" as well as "crazy", may be heard to misuse the expression in the former sense.
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Offline A-FRIEND

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Re: Where Did THAT Come From?
« Reply #9 on: August 23, 2013, 04:46 PM »
Quote
nosy (adj.)

Also nosey, 1610s, "having a prominent nose," from nose (n.) + -y (2). Earlier in this sense was nasee (mid-14c.), from Anglo-French, from Old French nasé, ultimately from Latin nasus "nose." Sense of "inquisitive" first recorded 1882. Nosey Parker as a name for an inquisitive person is from 1907.
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Offline daisyxo

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Re: Where Did THAT Come From?
« Reply #10 on: August 23, 2013, 09:02 PM »
I read the post about the mad hatters and didn't get a chance to reply -- just wanted to add a comment -- I am in awe when you see where words come from, or what sparked them - and certainly what we take for granted at face value.  I never would've thought about poisonous metals making somebody insane (but certainly makes sense in the hat making industry) -- and even more sense when used in the context of the mad hatter in Alice in Wonderland.  Thanks for sharing that one Earl.

Nosey is a little more obvious as far as definition - but still just as interesting in terms of where it came from -- and 1907 --- many of the words we use evolved from other languages.
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Offline Mystic1

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Re: Where Did THAT Come From?
« Reply #11 on: September 19, 2013, 10:39 PM »
In honor of Talk Like A Pirate Day:

Starboard (right)

The origin of the term starboard comes from early boating practices. Before ships had rudders on their centrelines, they were steered by use of a specialized steering oar. This oar was held by an oarsman located in the stern (back) of the ship. However, similar to now, there were many more right-handed sailors than left-handed sailors. This meant that the steering oar (which had been broadened to provide better control) used to be affixed to the right side of the ship. The word starboard comes from Old English steorbord, literally meaning the side on which the ship is steered, descendant from the Old Norse words stýri meaning "rudder" (from the verb stýra, literally "being at the helm", "having a hand in") and borð meaning etymologically "board", then the "side of a ship".

Port (left)

An early version of "port" is larboard, which itself derives from Middle-English ladebord via corruption in the 16th century by association with starboard. The term larboard, when shouted in the wind, was presumably too easy to confuse with starboard[1] and so the word port came to replace it. Port is derived from the practice of sailors mooring ships on the left side at ports in order to prevent the steering oar from being crushed.

Larboard continued to be used well into the 1850s by whalers, despite being long superseded by "port" in the merchant vessel service at the time. "Port" was not officially adopted by the Royal Navy until 1844 (Ray Parkin, H. M. Bark Endeavour). Robert FitzRoy, captain of Darwin's HMS Beagle, is said to have taught his crew to use the term port instead of larboard, thus propelling the use of the word into the Naval Services vocabulary.

Before modern standardization, quartermasters were advised to follow the rotation of the bottom of the wheel. Thus, when obeying a "hard a-starboard" command, the QM would turn the bottom of the wheel to the right, or starboard. This applied the left rudder and the ship turned to its left, or to port. Steering with the bottom of the wheel was apparently an approved way to learn helming more than a century ago.
The nautical reason for a "hard a-starboard" command to turn left seems related to the tiller and not the rudder. A tiller is pushed to the right, or starboard, to apply left rudder and turn the vessel to the left.


with flying colours

Ships serve scientific and cultural needs, as well as the transportation of goods, and resolving political and national conflict. In the past, without the use of modern communication devices, a ship's appearance upon the immediate return to the port could communicate how the crew fared at sea. Ships that were victorious in their endeavors, for example, an encounter with an enemy ship, would sail into port with flags flying from the mastheads. On the other hand, a ship that had been defeated, if still afloat, would be forced to "strike their colours", or to take them down, signifying their defeat. Although the time period is estimated roughly into the Age of Discovery, prior to the 18th century these phrases were used solely as nautical terms, and afterward they began to be used in the vernacular figuratively to signify any kind of triumph. Also, another phrase, "go down with flying colours" or "go down with colours flying" was used to express a commitment; in other words, a resolute crew fighting, even until their ship sinks. A variant of this phrase gives virtually the same meaning, "Nail your colours to the mast". If the colours, or the flag is nailed onto the mast, it cannot be lowered. There is effectively no way to express submission.

The word colours as used in the phrase historically was an alternative to saying flag, particularly to display a parties affiliation or allegiance to a nation. The calling of the flag as colours may of course, have non-nautical phrases as colours was used to express patriotism and nationality; other such examples of phrases being "true colours", or "show your colours". Flying, of course, refers to the unfurled flags' position on the masthead, and the variants come off or pass simply mean to have returned from the sea and to pass into the harbor, respectively.

Similarly, the phrase "sailing under false colours" was a reference to a tactic used by pirates or maritime rivals roaming the seas to attack vessels with desired booty. By hoisting a friendly flag, the unsuspecting ship would allow the pirates' ship to approach without resistance, giving the pirates access to board their vessel. Blackbeard famously repeated this process for two years, and sometimes upon sight of their ship, with a pirate flag replacing the deceptive friendly one, the ship would immediately surrender. However, this was not limited historically to pirates, as the British navy had used this tactic when chasing Black Bart Roberts.

These phrases have been used many times in literary works, even in modern day writings. "With flying colours" has many variations preceding it, such as to pass...came out...and came through...but all have the same meaning derived from the literal allusion, to be triumphant or victorious, honorable or to be publicly successful. "Go down with colours flying" and "Nail your colours to the mast" are used similarly to the nautical allusion, and are phrases to express persistence or stubbornness.

"Sailing under false colours", staying consistent with its nautical origin, is another way to express deception, or to mislead or mystify.
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Offline A-FRIEND

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Re: Where Did THAT Come From?
« Reply #12 on: September 20, 2013, 11:42 AM »
Great stuff G. I always wondered where those terms originated.
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Re: Where Did THAT Come From?
« Reply #13 on: January 09, 2014, 04:49 PM »
To make no bones about a matter
To speak frankly and directly. A  form of this expression was used as early as 1459, to mean to have no difficulty. It seems evident that the allusion is to the actual occurrence of bones in stews or soup. Soup without bones would offer no difficulty, and accordingly one would have no hesitation in swallowing soup with no bones.
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