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]
posted by BlackLeotardFront
on Jan 27, 2014 -
I had never heard this phrase before and came across it in an article about autism. Curious about it, I searched online, but was unable to find much. [more inside]
posted by abirdinthehand
on Jul 15, 2013 -
I flashed the biker wave on my ride home tonight, and as I was thinking some warm fuzzy thoughts about the "motorcycling fraternity", I noticed that the other rider was a woman. Is there a word which represents this concept in a gender-inclusive way? If "fraternity" has to do with brothers and "sorority" has to do with sisters, what word has to do with "siblings"? [more inside]
posted by Mars Saxman
on Jul 11, 2013 -
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!
posted by Monkey0nCrack
on May 16, 2013 -
"Emydidae" is the name of a family of turtles. What I want to know is what does the name *mean*. I have exhausted my google-fu and the best I've been able to find is this wiktionary
link that gives a meaning for "-idae" as "appearance". Any reptile/turtle fans care to enlighten me?
posted by moss free
on Mar 26, 2013 -
Stamp collecting is philately. Coin collecting falls under numismatics (perhaps as a subdivision). Rock collecting is not really geology in the same way as the above terms are used. Is there a similar term for rock collecting?
posted by Jahaza
on Nov 3, 2012 -
I'm looking for examples of terms that remain in common use, even though the technology that they originally described is obsolete or has changed. Also: does this phenomenon have a name? [more inside]
posted by condour75
on Jul 24, 2012 -
Is there a resource where I can learn about the Greek and Latin words that commonly underlie words and names in English? I don't want to learn Greek or Latin, I'm talking about only
the words which are commonly useful as 'clues'. [more inside]
posted by Kirn
on Mar 13, 2012 -
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?"
posted by herbplarfegan
on Aug 23, 2011 -
Calling etymologists, linguists, lexicographers, and research librarians! Was there a time when 'television,' 'radio,' or 'newspaper' were always capitalized? [more inside]
posted by thebestsophist
on Jun 20, 2011 -
What's the etymology of the phrase "once and for all"? What's the earliest known attestation?
posted by topynate
on Feb 11, 2011 -
How did the word "earworm" come to mean something you can't get out of your head (like a song, etc)? Looking for the German etymology, if there is one. [more inside]
posted by bitter-girl.com
on Oct 1, 2010 -
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]
posted by alms
on May 4, 2010 -
I'm a word nerd who likes fun words and this word I came across is fun to say and, at least to me, kind of new: mumblecore
That got me thinking -- what makes a "-core?"
I am interested in how generes of certain media are dubbed “-core.” Is there anything that makes a genre a “-core” genre and not it’s own suffix-free genre name? Why is “screamo” not “screamcore,” when we have “nerdcore,” “noisecore,” and “hardcore?” (more...) [more inside]
posted by cross_impact
on Apr 1, 2010 -
Help me track down the meaning of a surname. The name is "Naftzger." It seems to be a Germanic (if not German) word for an occupation (e.g. "Metzger" means "butcher"). But what occupation? What does the "Naf" mean? Bonus points for information on region of origin.
posted by reverend cuttle
on Oct 1, 2009 -
What is the origin of the phrase "Mama needs a new pair of shoes"? I've also seen "Mama needs new shoes
". Where did it come from and why is it sometimes used specifically in relation to gambling? [more inside]
posted by =^^=
on Mar 11, 2009 -
How does one arrive at a list of all the English words that can be traced back to a given root word? The word "chameleon" will be discussed. [more inside]
posted by sleevener
on Jan 9, 2009 -
What is the origin of the phrase "getting the hang" of something? What did it mean, originally, to "get the hang" of something?
posted by RedEmma
on Oct 9, 2008 -
What is the origin of the phrase "by the balls" as in: "He's really got you by the balls."? [more inside]
posted by sciurus
on Oct 2, 2008 -
Weird grammar question that's been bugging me for a while with regards to reversing questioning clauses at the end of declarative sentences. [more inside]
posted by WCityMike
on Sep 8, 2006 -
BadWordFilter - Does the word "buttf**ker" refer to a man who sodomizes a woman, and in turn is just a "dirty sex act" word, or does it refer to a homosexual who sodomizes a man and in turn is a homophobic word? Likewise for "cocks**ker"? When calling someone a "cocks**ker" are you calling them a "girl" or are you calling them a "homo"? Am I thinking too much about it, or should I avoid using these words around women / homosexuals so not to appear sexist / homophobic?
posted by pwb503
on Jul 14, 2005 -
Can anyone provide me with the origin of the word "meh"? I mean, yeah, definition-wise, it almost undoubtedly comes from "ehh." [more inside]
posted by WCityMike
on May 17, 2005 -