One thing that often makes me stop and think is when people use the following type of statement: “I don’t think you told me to pick up milk.” Is it true that I don’t think? No. It is true that “I think you didn’t tell me to pick up milk.” But because of my lifetime speaking habits, I don’t even take the time to speak this way. And it even sounds slightly snooty. How do other people feel about this?
Hello everybody there! A few days ago a friend of mine asked me a question like this: ‘is it possible to say in English ‘’See you laters'’ with the ‘s’ attached to ‘later’ ‘? She claimed she had heard it from an English native. As a humble non-native speaker of English, I was a bit puzzled and found no answer. And how do YOU feel about this?
Lately I’ve been curious about some odd terms for describing American currency (even though I am an American myself).
1. Why is one thousand referred to as “grand” (i.e. one hundred grand)? And how did it degenerate into G (i.e. “5 G’s if you get this right”)?
2. Where did “bucks” come from? It seems to have no relation whatsoever to “dollars” and, although it’s easier to say, how the heck did it come to be?
Could someone explain to me the meaning of “when rubber meets the road?”
Does anyone know the history of the phrase “screw the pooch” and exactly what it means? Thanks.
Where does the term ‘five by five’ come from? I first heard it on ‘Buffy the Vampire Slayer’, but have since heard it in a military setting. The context on ‘Buffy’ is:
How are you doing? Five by five!
I take it to mean something like ‘fine’, ‘great’ or something similar. Does anyone know how it came to be?
A new English expression I have encountered is “talking through your hat”. Does anyone here know anything about this?
I think it must make your voice very muffled! (Joke!)
Where did the grammatic mutilation “I says” come from? It only seems to be used in place of “I said” when someone is relating a story that happened in the past. Random example: “So last week I was talking to my friend, and I says, ‘What do you think about that?’”
Hi guys! I’ve just dug up 3 new lingual curiosities: ‘washeteria’, ‘yogurgitation’ and ‘in-a-gadda-da-meeting’. How do you like them? ‘washeteria’ sounds to me like a Spanish word ‘cafeteria’ so it probably means a place where you take a shower; ‘yogurgitation’ is nicely connected with ‘yoghurt’ but it suggests throwing it up; the third word refers to a meeting, which could have been done in half of the time it actually took. However its spelling seems to me a little bit exotic. Can you help with the explanation?
Is there any nice and concise word for a person who is given private tuitions and the one for sb who makes graffiti?
I recently had the urge to use “Zen” to describe a way of traveling light, calm, and without want. However, after looking in a dictionary, I learned that “zen” is not listed as ever being an adjective. How can this be so? I am absolutely sure I have heard things being described as “zen” on television and in media. In a phrase such as “Zen garden” would “Zen” be an adjective, or would “Zen Garden” function as an entire, or proper, noun? Just wondering. Thanks.
A friend was thankful for a gift I gave him today and said to me, “I am in your debt. No, wait... you are in my debt. Thanks.”
I am now thinking about the meaning of these idioms. We’ve all heard variants of this (not using the word “indebted”):
1: “I am in your debt.” 2: “You are in my debt.” 3: “I am in debt to you. 4: “You are in debt to me.”
I am now unclear if the users of these phrases are using them correctly. Whom owes whom? Right now, I am seeing it like this: 1: Speaker is stating that listener owes something to speaker. 2: Statement that listener owes something to listener. 3: Speaker owes something to listener. 4: Statement that listener owes something to speaker.
Are these correct? Are there more clear variants of showing indebtedness (I now open the subject up to using the word “indebted”)?
A friend of mine told me that “colored people” is offensive, but “people of color” isn’t. As far as I can see, they mean exactly the same thing. Why is one offensive but not the other?
‘Couch potato’ is a phrase, which everybody knows already. I’ve also found ‘mouse potato’, which means a person glued all the time to the computer or tv screen, (treated as one of the English neologisms). Do you know any other types of ‘potatoes’?
Does anyone know the origin of the word okay or O.K. or OK? I once heard that that has to do with French and is derived from some Mississippian dialect and so. Does that make any sense at all? The bad thing is that I do not quite remember what I was told, neither I remember the supposedly original French word.
Is there any informal, figurative and rather impolite way of calling someone lazy? Any slang etc.?
Which one is correct? “As far back as I remember, the country was at war.” “As far back as I remember, the country was in war.” If both are correct, what’s the difference?
What is the word for the olive oil or garlic whose smell has been taken away? What’s the verb and what the noun? (And does anyone know how they do it?!)