What is the origin of "making it sing," as in to cause something to be at its best, be it an instrument, weapon, machine, or anything else? [more inside]
What are some examples of really easy/obvious etymological descents that most people aren't really aware of? I'm trying to prove to somebody that there are a lot of these in the english language but I've forgotten most of the interesting ones I used to know. [more inside]
Is there a term for a seer/diviner/oracle that is only able to see into the past? I'm willing to grab one from a non-English language if there is a word that means specifically "a seer who can only see the past", but English is prefered. Antiquated terms are OK. Bonus points for interesting etymological details (or links to interesting etymological details). [more inside]
I am looking for a text file of a list of words (roughly the 5000-10000 most common English words) and their root word and root word language. My Google Fu only turns up single words or pages that I can type in a word to get to another page to get the etymology. Wikipedia has some stuff, but it is sorted by language root, which is not what I am looking for. I would like to have a long list of words in a text file so that I can manipulate it programatically. Comma separated or whatever, any format would be great. Here is one use case: Yoke - [list of words that have yoke in the etymological history] (Many, many many English words come from the root work for Yoke.) All answers appreciated!
Has an evaluation been made of the dichotomy between what is implied by the term "wild" in the line "You drive us wild" and what is implied by the term "crazy" in the immediately following line "We'll drive you crazy" in KISS's "Rock And Roll All Night?"
Calling etymologists, linguists, lexicographers, and research librarians! Was there a time when 'television,' 'radio,' or 'newspaper' were always capitalized? [more inside]
Two questions about vocabulary in the American South and elsewhere: did your parents call you sugar and did they, when you were in trouble, use both your first and middle names to summon you for the reckoning? [more inside]
What's the etymology of the phrase "once and for all"? What's the earliest known attestation?
Help me find English words that have meanings hidden in plain sight. For example, it only recently occurred to me that a "quart" is a quarter of a gallon. [more inside]
What is the origin of the phrase "getting the hang" of something? What did it mean, originally, to "get the hang" of something?
MajorDomesticDebateFilter : What is up? She says jig. I say gig. Google is undecided. [more inside]
Did "based on" beget "based off of"? [more inside]
In English, we have words like mercurial, martial, jovial, and saturnine... [more inside]
What's the origin of the phrase "hunt you down like a dog?" I can seem to find the origins of other phrases involving dogs pretty easily but not this one.
Excuse me, but can anyone tell me: What exactly is the origin of the phrase Go piss up a rope? I know it's present in the American South and Midwest, but did it originate elsewhere? Does the phrase occur in other countries? And how exactly does one piss up a rope? Does it mean Go climb a rope (similar to Piss off!), or literally Go urinate up a length of braided twine? And, while we're at it, what the hell does the H stand for in Jesus H Christ? I've always wondered. [...a little more inside] [more inside]