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Title: Word Origins
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tommytalldog
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(Date Posted:06-05-2018 5:43 AM)
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A shot of whiskey - In the old west a .45 cartridge for a six gun cost .12 cents, so did a glass of whiskey. If a cowboy was low on cash he would often give the bartender a cartridge in exchange for a drink. This became known as a "shot" of whiskey.
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majorshrapnel
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RE:Word Origins
(Date Posted:10-05-2018 9:23 AM)

The French word for discuss, converse, is parley, which is where we got the name Parliament.
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tommytalldog
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RE:Word Origins
(Date Posted:10-05-2018 11:37 AM)

Ship's State Rooms - Traveling by steamboat was considered the height of comfort. Passenger cabins on the boats were not numbered. Instead they were named after states. To this day cabins on ships are called staterooms.
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RE:Word Origins
(Date Posted:11-05-2018 9:02 AM)

Iron Clad Contract - From the ironclad ships of the Civil War. So strong it could not be broken.
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majorshrapnel
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RE:Word Origins
(Date Posted:11-05-2018 9:18 AM)

The term... long drawn out, comes from the Smithy's skill in stretching steel with the hammer on an anvil.
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tommytalldog
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RE:Word Origins
(Date Posted:12-05-2018 5:11 AM)

Sleep tight - Early beds were held together with ropes & straw mattresses on top. The ropes would loosen after time & the whole thingy would sink requiring periodic "tightening" of the ropes. Hence, "Sleep tight."
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RE:Word Origins
(Date Posted:12-05-2018 6:23 AM)

In the past, when travellers would stay at a tavern, they would get a lodge, i.e. they were lodged. This could mean sleeping on the floor with six or more other strangers in a line. If you paid a little more you could hire a board to sleep on, which was off the floor, which is where we get the saying, board and lodge. During leisure times, the sleeping boards would be used for playing cards on, or backgammon, or shove h'penny, which is where we get the term 'board games.'
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tommytalldog
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RE:Word Origins
(Date Posted:12-05-2018 8:00 AM)

Major, what is your spin on "Chairman of the Board?"
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RE:Word Origins
(Date Posted:12-05-2018 9:27 AM)

Can't put anything to that one Tom. I don't know if you have the saying.... keep you hair on? It's common here and means don't lose your temper. This comes from the habit of the upper classes removing their wigs before duelling, so keeping you hair on meant you kept you cool and didn't duel. Likewise, the term, she let her hair down. This comes from the  tradition of single women in days gone by, keeping their hair up until they got married, then with her prize in tow, she could let her hair down, i.e. relax. The use of the word 'hairy' can also mean dangerous, like a hairy bend on a racetrack, a hairy situation, meaning dangerous. This comes from the days when the Brits were fighting the fuzzy wuzzies in Africa, with their large bushy hairdo's.
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majorshrapnel
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RE:Word Origins
(Date Posted:12-05-2018 9:30 AM)

Forgot to add the term 'bigwig' meaning somebody of importance. In the old days, only the rich could afford big wigs.
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tommytalldog
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RE:Word Origins
(Date Posted:13-05-2018 9:44 AM)

Riff Raff - The mighty Mississippi River was the main way of traveling from north to south in the early U.S. Poor people used rafts which had no right of way over the upper class river boats. Rafts were the cheap way of travel for people & goods. The steering oar was known as the "riff" & this was transposed into "riff-raff" meaning low class.
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Re:Word Origins
(Date Posted:14-05-2018 4:28 PM)

 Coureur des bois
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majorshrapnel
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Re:Word Origins
(Date Posted:16-05-2018 1:13 PM)

The Royal Navy has shaped our nation more than any other institution and has contributed a huge amount of sayings, slang, and everyday words now commonplace in the English language, a fact very few people in our modern generation would know. So here's a few.

ABOVE BOARD, having told you it's naval you immediately know, or get the drift (gerrit) of the saying. When pirates were sneaking up on a merchant ship they would hide most of their crew below board because pirate ships would carry ten times the crew of a merchant ship, so if everybody was above board, it would amount to a declaration of malicious intent. Also, trading ships that had illegal cargoes would not put them above board in view, but keep them below board.

AHOY, in the 17th century, captains would hail another ship with the cry "Hoa the ship" which was eventually abbreviated to Hoa, meaning, where are you bound. This eventually morphed into ahoy. Interestingly, Alexander Graham bell used the term ahoy when making the first phone calls and the required reply then was hoy.
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majorshrapnel
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RE:Word Origins
(Date Posted:16-05-2018 1:48 PM)

The huge influence of French on our language was mentioned earlier, in the word Parliament. The universal, nautical distress call MAYDAY, derives from the French word "m'aidez"which means 'help me.'

The term 'piping hot' comes from the days of sail when the boatswain (bosun) would pipe a signal to the crew to say that their meals were ready. Also, pipe down, which was the bosun's signal for the crew to be quiet.
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PBA
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Re:Word Origins
(Date Posted:16-05-2018 4:26 PM)

 I notice no one has attempted to explain Coureur des bois in my post 11 yet. Theses are the real pioneers and explorers that did most of the early exploring of the United States but aren't really mentioned in American History like they should be.
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MarkUK
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RE:Word Origins
(Date Posted:17-05-2018 12:59 AM)

I thought perhaps "something" of the woods, but didn't like to ask for fear of appearing thick. It's not a phrase I've heard before.
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Re:Word Origins
(Date Posted:17-05-2018 1:15 AM)

Coureur des bois


I thought it was French for ...bollocks.
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majorshrapnel
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RE:Word Origins
(Date Posted:17-05-2018 1:41 AM)

BROUGHT UP SHORT. This was the action of dropping anchor whilst on the move, bringing the ship to a sudden stop. It was done when a vessel would have a shot a cross the bows as a warning to stop and then took the hint and dropped anchor before getting a shot in the bows.


CHOC A BLOCK. It's when two rigging blocks are so close, or tangled that they cannot work correctly. Also the term 'Choc' was to secure goods on deck correctly and when there was no room left, it was deemed to be 'chockers' meaning full up.

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majorshrapnel
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RE:Word Origins
(Date Posted:17-05-2018 1:48 AM)

What about 'getting spliced, or hitched'? Meaning getting married. Well both terms come from the act of joining two ropes together.

One of my favourites.... 'I'll eat my hat.' Sailors would keep their chewing tobacco in the lining of their hats, which would get mixed with sweat, rain and tobacco juice and if they ran out they would take out the linings and chew on them.
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Re:Word Origins
(Date Posted:17-05-2018 2:19 AM)

 They were the first independent fur traders before even the voyageurs. and established fur trading companies came alone.  
Radisson and des Grosseilliers were two of the early ones also Toussaint Charbonneau who was with the Lewis and Clark Expedition. They were like the guys in Mark's movie.

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Re:Word Origins
(Date Posted:17-05-2018 2:23 AM)

Also the term 'Choc' was to secure goods on deck correctly.
We used the same term to secure tanks on trains. I haven't heard it used much  since. 
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MarkUK
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RE:Word Origins
(Date Posted:17-05-2018 4:21 AM)

In old films you hear "chocs away" before the wooden blocks are removed allowing a Spitfire etc to taxi away. 
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RE:Word Origins
(Date Posted:17-05-2018 7:16 AM)

Radisson and des Grosseilliers

Another example of the British inability pronounce foreign words, the Brits called these two Raddishes and Goosberries.
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majorshrapnel
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RE:Word Origins
(Date Posted:17-05-2018 7:18 AM)

Pete, ever picked up the book Company of Adventurers?
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Re:Word Origins
(Date Posted:17-05-2018 3:06 PM)

 No I haven't Major and to be honest I very seldom read as much as I use to. (The print is too small now) lol
With video rentals going the way of the looney bird it hard to even see some of the older adventure movies now.

Another example of the British inability pronounce foreign words, the Brits called these two Radishes and Gooseberries'.

As school kids we called them the same Major to just try and remember their names better.


(Message edited by MarkUK On 19-05-2018 7:20 AM)
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RE:Word Origins
(Date Posted:18-05-2018 12:51 AM)

You can buy pretty well every film ever made on Amazon for a few pounds/dollars, books too.
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RE:Word Origins
(Date Posted:19-05-2018 6:39 AM)

Pete, you,re going to have to do something about that font of yours. You tell us you can’t read because of the size of the fonts in a book? Join the club, the skener’s club. I’ve developed twice as many creases on the side of my eyes, screwing them up to read what rubbish you’ve posted next.
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MarkUK
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RE:Word Origins
(Date Posted:19-05-2018 7:19 AM)

With the power vested in me by Shula I can enlarge any font. I'll go back and try it out.
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Re:Word Origins
(Date Posted:19-05-2018 3:03 PM)

 Put on your big girl underwear Major and the print should look larger.

(Message edited by PBA On 19-05-2018 3:03 PM)
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