"Nice catch!" you'll think, realizing that I deserve kudos for noticing that this question is hard to find an answer to. But where does the phrase "nice catch" come from? Why is noticing and identifying a thing a "catch"? When was this first used and whence did it come?
Do any other languages use hot as a synonym for spicy? Examples of spicy in other languages with etymology / literal translation are welcome
Why do people say "grill out" instead of "grill"? [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!
What is this non-English, possibly German word? Sounds like veetsul zooten, means emotional from an impending change. [more inside]
Single word that means "to sing the praises of", poss. Greek or Roman in origin. Thinking paean, or ode but not quite. [more inside]
There is a Greek word which describes a preference for voyeurism over participation in sexual activities. What is it? (It may involve small boys.)
Obsessivewordenthusiastfilter: I'm writing a paper and I'm trying to portray a certain situation which I feel would be best conveyed with the use of an allusion, preferably to a Greek or Roman myth. More inside! [more inside]
Does the English language have a one-word verb meaning "to write a biography of someone"? And if so: does anyone use it? [more inside]
Is there a name for phrases (or sometimes words) that have lost their previous specific/narrow/jargon meanings and are now used generally in a wide variety of situations with little or no knowledge about their prior usage? Are there lists of them anywhere with the phrases and explanations? [more inside]
The personal aide to a President, other politician, and certain other muckety-mucks is sometimes known as a "body man". (This usage was popularized, but not invented, by Charlie's role in The West Wing.) Why "body man"? Does anybody know the origin/etymology of the term?
On behalf of a friend, though it actually sounds like an interesting question and I think I'd like to know too: Could you put up something asking about whether there's a real-world source/derivation for the words "hron" and "hronir" used in Borges' "Tlon, Uqbar, Orbis Tertius"?
Is there a word like widow or widower to describe a surviving twin? [more inside]
What is the etymology behind the word "Cohee"? [more inside]
What is the Etymological origin of the phrase "And How!" used as an exclamation. [more inside]