January 29, 2005  •  joachim2


I’ve heard the word “immediately” used in British English in a way that sounds quite strange to my American ears. I wonder whether anyone has any insight about why it’s used differently. I believe it is considered grammatically correct in the UK to say something like “I left immediately I got the address”. In America you might say “I left as soon as I got the address” or “I left immediately AFTER I got the address” but in any event, a preposition would be required. Why not in England? And what do the Australians have to say about this?

January 27, 2005  •  marco

Worst Case or Worse Case

Anyone have an explanation on this expression? The proper english indicates it should read “Worst-case scenario”. However the vocal sound is “Worse-case scenario”. Is there a proper way?

January 3, 2005  •  apey

Fair Enough

Is there any meaningful difference between “fair enough” and “good enough?” Is “fair” in this context a degree of quality (good-fair-poor-bad) or does it denote fairness in a judicial sense?Thank you!

December 23, 2004  •  olga

Jigsaw evidence

Hallo, Could you please explain to me the meaning of the expression “jigsaw evidence” as I really don’t have a clue what it can mean. It is apparently a figurative expression, but its meaning is all vague to me. The sentence runs as follows: Adopting the cost–benefit analysis technique could be a useful analytical framework for presenting the final jigsaw of evidence. thank u :)

December 21, 2004  •  johnson

State of the Art

I know that the expression “State of the Art” means “the best or most up to date” but does anyone know how this phrase ended up with this meaning ? If you break down the words within the phrase it seems to have no bearing on its current usage ie it could be reconstructed to say “what state is the art in”, as in what condition is the art in but there is no word within the phrase that implies good quality or the best of ? Any suggestions ? Johnson, Samuel

December 21, 2004  •  marta

Zorbing? What’s that?

Has anybody ever heard of ‘zorbing’? It’s supposed to be the name for a new type of an extreme sport. Could any x-treme sport lover explain to me what it is and where this kind of sport is done, please? It must be a sort of a neologism, I guess, as it’s not listed in the majority of dictionaries.By the way, does anyone know where this word comes from?

December 7, 2004  •  lynn

Newfoundland Expression

Hello! I’m hoping someone can help me with this one. I’m searching for the origins of “Jiggs Dinner”. In Newfoundland this is the traditional Sunday dinner consisting of peas pudding (yes, from the old nursery rhyme, salt meat, cabbage, carrot, turnip, and potatoes, all cooked in the same pot). In case anyone is wondering, it is delicious. ;-) My question is: Who is Jigg and why are we eating his dinner? No one here seems to have any information on the origin of the name. Thanks much,

December 4, 2004  •  ensanders


Which one(s) is (are) correct? Which one(s) would you use? Stumbled upon Stumbled accross Stumbled on Stumbled into Stumbled in Stumbled onto

December 3, 2004  •  samour

Die theater / die party

Hello, everyone! Pardon my ignorance, but could anyone tell me what a “die theater” or “die party” mean? There’s no context. It’s just a phrase from a grammmar book. (I went to die party last night). So, maybe it’s a misprint? And they intended just the article “THE”? I did not find anything on the Net, they suggest that it’s German!!! (’die’ is an article in German), so who can explain it, please? Thanks to everybody.

November 29, 2004  •  olehustedjensen

Double header

What is a “double header” on Memorial Day? Is it 2 baseball games in a row (who can stand to watch 2 games in a row?) I found the expression on page 5 in Philip Roth’s latest novel “The plot agsinst America”

November 16, 2004  •  marta

See you laters???

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?

November 15, 2004  •  ladylucy

I don’t think...

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?

November 4, 2004  •  wildweasel

Fifty G’s if you get this one

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?

October 16, 2004  •  ceilming

rubber meets the road?

Could someone explain to me the meaning of “when rubber meets the road?”

October 10, 2004  •  anita

Screw The Pooch

Does anyone know the history of the phrase “screw the pooch” and exactly what it means? Thanks.

October 5, 2004  •  giles

Five by Five

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?

September 23, 2004  •  ghoti

Talking through your hat

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!)

September 4, 2004  •  amy

“I says”

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?’”

September 3, 2004  •  marta


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?

August 31, 2004  •  marta

tuitions in graffiti

Is there any nice and concise word for a person who is given private tuitions and the one for sb who makes graffiti?

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