Submitted by Dyske  •  December 1, 2002

Over-the-counter

If over-the-counter drugs mean drugs that you can buy off the shelf, then why is it called over the counter? Prescription drugs are the ones that you purchase over the counter literally. It should be “off-the-shelf” not over-the-counter. Don’t you think?

Submitted by Dyske  •  November 30, 2002

Five of Ten

If you say “five of ten” in the context of time, you mean 5 minutes to 10 o’clock. But, why is this? “of” is a possessive preposition, so one would think that “five of ten” would be 5 minutes that belong to 10 o’clock. That is: 5 after 10.

Submitted by Dyske  •  November 29, 2002

Went to extremes

I would think that “went to the extreme” would be more natural. Why plural?

Submitted by Dyske  •  November 29, 2002

Potboiler

How did this word come to mean “a usually inferior work of art or literature produced chiefly for monetary return”?

Submitted by Dyske  •  November 29, 2002

hit a snag

What does this mean?

Submitted by Dyske  •  November 29, 2002

“got the best of him”

I hear this expression every now and then, and I understand it as “screwed”, but it seems odd to say “the best”. Why not “all of him”? What does “the best” imply?

Submitted by Dyske  •  November 29, 2002

Off His Rocker

What does this mean? And where did it come from?

Submitted by Dyske  •  November 29, 2002

Gone to Seed

What does this mean? Where did it come from?

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