Where does the elision of universe
originate? I know it from the television show Firefly
(aired late 2002) and recently noticed it used casually in The Chronicles of Riddick
(released mid-2004), but it seemed unlikely that the screenwriter would appropriate a bit of slang connected to someone else's failed project from barely a year earlier. It seems to me I have heard it again since, but I cannot recall where. I read very little sf these days; did both these I mention draw it from elsewhere?
posted by ricochet biscuit
on Jun 16, 2014 -
I'm looking for links/books/a place to start researching to find out more about the origin of afghan blankets.
I just ordered the yarn to knit a largish blanket of my own design. In thinking of a name for the pattern I got to wondering whether the word "afghan" as applied to blankets really had anything to do with Afghanistan. [more inside]
posted by sparklemotion
on Nov 26, 2013 -
I would like to know the origin of major league baseball player Clyde Raymond Barfoot's nickname "Foots". Can you direct me to a source of information (e.g., a book or website)?
posted by kirsti
on Oct 12, 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 -
Years ago, my friends and I used to play this game where we'd make sentences with apparent synonyms but negate one of them. For example: "He's honest but he's not truthful." or "He's intelligent but he's not smart." Hearing these sentences would create a sense of difference between the two words that previously wouldn't be visible, or even necessarily exist.
We didn't invent this game but I can't remember where we got it. Has anyone heard of it or something like it? Does it have a name? Where does it come from?
posted by Obscure Reference
on Apr 1, 2013 -
I'm looking for myths/stories about books and writing. Not - and this is where I'm running into trouble with google - top ten lists about cafe productivity and self-publishing; I mean more like a hero whittling a pen from the boughs of Yggdrasil and then stealing ink from the Kraken, with the goal of writing down the secrets of Enki in order to embarrass him and get him to pay the 5 goats owed.
Any location/time is fine! Can be short, can be long.
posted by curious nu
on Mar 5, 2013 -
What is the origin of the phrase, "Laugh? I thought I'd die!"? I'm under the impression that it's older than the Beau Brummels song (1964).
posted by kimota
on Jul 8, 2011 -
The clichéed two-part catcalling whistle that is performed at the sight of a hottie -- almost exclusively a man whistling at a woman -- that sounds like this
. Rising, then falling. Where did that particular "tune" come from? What is the earliest recorded instance of its use? How was it popularized?
posted by Greg Nog
on Jun 16, 2011 -
Does anybody know where the expression "Don't make me cut you" comes from originally? I have searched and asked others with powerful google-fu to search and we're coming up empty.
posted by Theresa
on Jul 20, 2010 -
Calling all Marvel readers! I've got a question about Daredevil's origin that my own Marvel nerdiness has failed to answer! [more inside]
posted by EatTheWeak
on Aug 4, 2009 -
I'm trying to locate the origin of the phrase "The righteous man champions the lost cause, knowing that all other causes are just merely events." [more inside]
posted by victoriab
on Apr 15, 2009 -
My father asked me. Figured I could find it, quick. I've used google et al and can't seem to lock down anything but a likely country of origin, Spain(?)...
Still, the question is:
Where can Ojen liqueur be purchased in the US?
But any details regarding its origin/production (/existence?) would probably be useful.
posted by justrobin
on Jan 12, 2009 -
Who are the actual people Senator Clay Davis (a character in the HBO show The Wire) is based on? [more inside]
posted by 8699oriel
on Nov 12, 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 -
What is the origin of these shirts?
I have this shirt. i want to know where it comes from. not where it's made, but where in the world does this pattern and style come from?
posted by karl88
on Jul 2, 2008 -
Help me find out more about this gesture, where a person licks their finger and either points to the ceiling or draws a line in the air. [more inside]
posted by asras
on Jul 1, 2008 -
Why are we here? What started it all? What is the purpose of life? Where is technology taking us? What will happen to humans eventually?
I'm looking for books that discuss the above questions. I don't want the readings to be too dry and textbook like.
Thanks a bunch.
posted by iceman7
on Feb 23, 2008 -
What's the origin of/meaning behind the idiom of inviting a lady to inspect one's collection of etchings as a (euphemized/veiled?) sexual proposition? [more inside]
posted by juv3nal
on Jan 21, 2008 -
Do Fedex Overnight packages have the location of origin postmarked or printed on them in any way? [more inside]
posted by dkleinst
on Nov 6, 2007 -
What is the origin of the phrase "we are all [blank] now"? The earliest 'famous' usage I'm aware of is Nixon's "we are all Keynesians now," but I don't know if that was really where it started.
posted by Urban Hermit
on Jun 29, 2007 -
Does the phrase "Please, not in the face!" (in reference to a metaphorical imminent beating) have a definitive, particular origin from a famous film or some other piece of pop culture? Or has it just sort of established itself from actual beatings?
posted by so_necessary
on Jun 15, 2007 -
I'm looking for the earliest appearance of the phrase 'swanning around' - To travel around from place to place aimlessly.
posted by tellurian
on Apr 25, 2007 -
What is the origin of the phrase "the beatings will continue until morale improves". Google has failed me on this, only the hive mind will save me.
posted by bumpkin
on Mar 30, 2007 -
What is the origin of the phrase "The future is now"?
posted by sholdens12
on Oct 9, 2006 -
What is the origin of the phrase "right up my (his, her, etc.) alley"??? Is it as simple as referring to being "in my neighborhood of expertise" or is there some sort of bowling reference going on? Google's letting me down here -- but maybe my search capacities are a little rusty.
posted by punkbitch
on Jul 18, 2006 -
I've recently become obsessed with the origin of American sports team names. In particular, team names which make a specific reference to something unique in the history or culture of the team location. Does anyone know of an online list of this type of information? And also, anyone care to site any not obvious
examples of this from American sports? [more inside]
posted by peppermint22
on Nov 9, 2005 -
What are the origins of the chant "it's your birthday, have a party" (repeat ad nauseam)? [more inside]
posted by kmel
on Oct 6, 2005 -
where is this robot from?
It's driving me crazy! Me and a friend saw a guy with a tattoo of this robot on his back at this music festival and we both recognized it. Then I randomly saw that picture on some website.
It can't be hitchhikers guide...i think the "don't panic" is just cause it's a home made shirt. Am I wrong?
Make me look stupid though, I know you know where this robot came from!
posted by freudianslipper
on Jun 3, 2005 -
How is the term is determined for a native, thing or resident of a place? For example, an American
from America or Italian
from Italy seems simple enough, but Glaswegian
from Glasgow? Shouldn't it be Moswegian and not Muscovite? [more inside]
posted by geckoinpdx
on Apr 13, 2005 -
What is the Etymological origin of the phrase "And How!" used as an exclamation. [more inside]
posted by Megafly
on Mar 23, 2005 -
What is the origin of saying shocked twice to indicate emphasis (e.g., "I'm shocked, SHOCKED, that you would insinuate such a thing.")? Googling just brings up examples of it in speech and no origin.
posted by trey
on Jan 14, 2005 -
Can I please get a definitive ruling on White Castle "slider" vs. White Castle "slyder"? Google tells me it's "slider" but I don't think that's right.
posted by blueshammer
on Aug 8, 2004 -