Comments by johnmperry

  • August 28, 2008

  • sure you didn't mean oops?

    August 27, 2008

  • should be 3 words: cri de coeur (or for purists, cri de cœur)

    August 27, 2008

  • = Balkanise I imagine

    August 27, 2008

  • Rimming seems to have been hijacked by other sports. Also known as a bunker shot.

    August 27, 2008

  • The defensive strategy against a superior team in my day was bichromatic squop

    August 27, 2008

  • two-colour

    August 27, 2008

  • I think you're right, and one can't back-form a singular. A propos, my son, when small, decided logically enough that the plural of my (VW) Golf was golves.

    Similar incorrect back-formations would include knive, wive, dwarve, loave, etc. Maybe I should create them all as new "words" here - one seems to get credit for bad spelling, foreign languages, ...

    August 27, 2008

  • also see squop

    August 27, 2008

  • Tetric would have been a better choice

    August 26, 2008


  • The Fighting Temeraire tugged to her Last Berth to be broken up, 1838
    Turner

    August 26, 2008

  • example here

    August 26, 2008

  • nor with Lissajou's figures.

    August 26, 2008

  • The avocet forms the logo of the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB)

    August 26, 2008

  • Nothing to do with Heimlich

    August 26, 2008

  • .

    August 26, 2008

  • "rubbidy" is Australian rhymimg slang for pub. I.e. rubbidy-dub.

    August 26, 2008

  • what is it? a cloaca?

    August 26, 2008

  • cf rheology

    August 26, 2008

  • actually it's:
    Sans teeth, sans eyes, sans taste, sans everything

    August 26, 2008

  • antonym might be effloresce

    August 26, 2008

  • UK vernacular for potato

    August 26, 2008


  • Shorter than a dirk

    August 26, 2008

  • Buy one!

    August 26, 2008

  • Probably from Gaelic Sgian Dubh or Skean Dhu

    August 26, 2008

  • before it was Constantinople, it was Byzantium.

    In the middle ages, the two largest cities in Europe, with populations 600000 to 800000, were Constantinople and Cordoba, basically at either end of the Mediterranean.

    August 26, 2008

  • also platykurtotic

    August 26, 2008

  • also mesokurtotic

    August 26, 2008

  • Better spelling is Baile �?tha Cliath = Dublin, Ireland

    August 26, 2008

  • Norwegian tennis ace Bent-Ove Pedersen

    August 25, 2008

  • Chorlton-cum-Hardy is a suburban area of the City of Manchester, North West England, known locally as Chorlton.

    August 25, 2008

  • Or as Marshall McLuhan has it, "the medium is the message."

    August 25, 2008

  • from which the word "garden"

    August 25, 2008

  • from French for leg

    August 25, 2008

  • famous for its police force (farce):

    August 25, 2008

  • Now if you were writing Maltese you could have extra dotty letters: Ċ Ġ and Ż

    August 19, 2008

  • bai hua

    August 19, 2008

  • = wrbl?

    August 18, 2008

  • Weighted Ranking By Levels

    August 18, 2008

  • Britain wins gold at Men's Keirin, 2008

    August 18, 2008

  • Guido who achieved his 15 minutes of fame

    August 18, 2008

  • a jack of the same suit as the turned up card

    August 18, 2008

  • Q What is the difference between a chorus-girl and a tramp?

    A A chorus-girl has natty knickers.

    (Probably only meaningful to British English speakers).

    August 18, 2008

  • Q What is the difference between a sandpiper and a baby?

    A A sandpiper flits along the shore.

    August 18, 2008

  • it got its name from its supposed similarity to Venice.

    August 17, 2008

  • its name derives from being a miniature Z (zed in British English) - used to change the pronunciation of the letter C from hard to soft.

    August 17, 2008

  • wikipedia calls it sponge toffee although it is commonly called honeycomb in UK.

    August 17, 2008

  • Nothing to do with with Maltese, although they do sell them there. More like malt-teasers.

    August 17, 2008

  • also Winnie-the-Pooh

    August 17, 2008

  • plural is cestus too

    August 17, 2008

  • also known as pelota vasca

    August 17, 2008

  • Spanish = basket.
    Usually, a scoop-shaped wicker basket that is worn over the hand and used to catch and throw the ball in jai alai.

    August 17, 2008

  • also spurtle
    a wooden stick for stirring porridge

    August 17, 2008

  • A (male) worker.
    also wallah.

    August 16, 2008

  • No, dhobi or dobi is Hindi for laundry. the dobi walla or wallah is the person (often male) who does the laundry

    August 16, 2008

  • I'm just back from a holiday in Malta, so thought I'd introduce you to the written Maltese language.

    August 15, 2008

  • also, Hula Hoops are a potato-based snack product, in the shape of short, hollow cylinders.

    July 25, 2008

  • or you can't find the glasses on top of your head

    July 25, 2008

  • Actually, just to clarify, I meant the new server farms are available, and are not included in the blockage.

    July 25, 2008

  • Well I think the passive voice is entirely and solely adequate to whatever task I ask it to perform. I write what I want to write. How dare that paper-clip second-guess me? (Or do I mean, "How dare I be second-guessed by a paper-clip?") It's completely absurd. I can't see any instances of 'sloppy writing'.

    July 25, 2008

  • When I was at school, our headmaster told us never to agree with a question which used the word 'surely'

    July 25, 2008

  • That citation surely refers to an abbreviation of ambulance?

    July 25, 2008

  • Not to be confused with Fatboy Slim

    July 25, 2008

  • Read about it here

    July 25, 2008

  • Passive and active voices each has a place in English. It seems fairly arch and pointless to try to force changes from e.g. "Brooklyn Bridge was built 1870 - 1883" to "They built Brooklyn Bridge..."

    July 25, 2008

  • I had a little nut tree,
    Nothing would it bear
    But a silver nutmeg,
    And a golden pear;
    The King of Spain's daughter
    Came to visit me,
    And all for the sake
    Of my little nut tree.

    Her dress was made of crimson,
    Jet black was her hair,
    She asked me for my nut tree
    And my golden pear.
    I said, "So fair a princess
    Never did I see,
    I'll give you all the fruit
    From my little nut tree.
    Children's Nursery Rhyme
    (sounds a bit phallic to me)

    July 25, 2008

  • Not just any old sheet of paper.

    A size of paper (7.5"-10" x 10"-12.5"). Formed by folding and cutting a standard large sheet of paper (15"-20" x 20"-25") twice to form 4 leaves (eight sides).

    Paper sizes such as quarto, American quarto, octavo, 16mo etc. really only continue in North America. Most of elsewhere uses ISO paper sizes - A0, A1 etc. China of course has its own sizes.

    July 25, 2008

    • My squeeze uses ding:
    • for just about any word;
    • when she/I/we is/am/are ready for sex (like the sound of the microwave when that's ready);
    • (v.) for coition itself;
    • (adj. or adv.) anything associated with coition.

    July 25, 2008

  • a popular candy bar distributed by the Mars candy company. The American version of the Milky Way bar is made of chocolate-malt nougat topped with caramel and covered with milk chocolate and is similar to the European Mars bar. The European Milky Way bar, on the other hand, is not topped with caramel and is therefore similar to the American 3 Musketeers bar.

    July 25, 2008

  • canoodle

    July 25, 2008

  • Was the film as long ago as 1989? Tempus indeed fugits. I remember it was a crap film, but popular for lines such as "I just want to shag all night". This was before Austin Powers and before the word entered US vernacular.

    July 25, 2008

  • The common cormorant (or shag)
    Lays eggs inside a paper bag,
    You follow the idea, no doubt?
    It's to keep the lightning out.

    But what these unobservant birds
    Have never thought of, is that herds
    Of wandering bears might come with buns
    And steal the bags to hold the crumbs.

    -- Christopher Isherwood

    July 25, 2008

  • A two-pair poker hand, namely "aces and eights".

    July 25, 2008

  • also (UK) Black Maria

    July 25, 2008

  • Seems exactly the same as amok to me

    July 25, 2008

  • VanishedOne - it does suggest that in the third definition

    July 25, 2008

  • I don't know Japanese as such, but I do know a lot of words are pronounced like that, with first and third syllables elided

    July 25, 2008

  • Bilby - looks like you've got some unbound html in your last comment.

    July 25, 2008

  • UK vernacular for US booger

    July 25, 2008

  • British navy slang for tits

    July 25, 2008

  • There is a district of London called "Elephant & Castle", centred on a pub of that name. It is said that this is in fact a corruption of "Infanta de Castile",

    July 25, 2008

    1. The male genitals, a box supposedly containing a sausage and two eggs.
    2. The visible bulge of the genitals in the crotch area of men wearing tight-fitting pants.
    3. The vagina.


      1. July 25, 2008

  • or bits

    July 25, 2008

  • Thank you for letting me share this with you. It made me laugh.

    July 25, 2008

  • The Traditional Fly Fishing Leader Sinkant

    July 25, 2008

  • Any nonplastic clay or claylike earthy material that can be used to decolorize, filter, and purify animal, mineral, and vegetable oils and greases.

    July 25, 2008

  • cf shmooze

    July 25, 2008

  • see nincompoop

    July 25, 2008

  • see nincompoop

    July 25, 2008

  • What's the big hang-up with passive voice? Microsoft Word flags it like it's a capital offence.

    July 25, 2008

  • Italian car-wash

    July 25, 2008

  • Another slang term for the penis

    July 25, 2008

  • also philtre

    July 24, 2008

  • = romantic comedy

    July 24, 2008

  • Defined by Jimmy Edwards:
    Eu - what a
    phony - terrible
    hum - noise

    July 24, 2008

  • to get the boot = to get the sack, be fired from employment

    July 24, 2008

  • also means: to enrich; to benefit; to give in addition as in "what boots it?"

    July 24, 2008

  • pronounced /'eIgju:/

    July 24, 2008

  • take it or leave it: no choice at all

    July 24, 2008

  • No, I think s/he's hork-eyed

    July 24, 2008

  • Rates text on a U.S. grade-school level. For example, a score of 8.0 means that an eighth grader can understand the document. For most standard documents, aim for a score of approximately 7.0 to 8.0.

    The formula for the Flesch-Kincaid Grade Level score is:

    (.39 x ASL) + (11.8 x ASW) – 15.59

    where:

    ASL = average sentence length (the number of words divided by the number of sentences)

    ASW = average number of syllables per word (the number of syllables divided by the number of words)

    - Microsoft

    July 24, 2008

  • Flesch Reading Ease score

    Rates text on a 100-point scale; the higher the score, the easier it is to understand the document. For most standard documents, aim for a score of approximately 60 to 70.

    The formula for the Flesch Reading Ease score is:

    206.835 – (1.015 x ASL) – (84.6 x ASW)

    where:

    ASL = average sentence length (the number of words divided by the number of sentences)

    ASW = average number of syllables per word (the number of syllables divided by the number of words)

    - Microsoft

    July 24, 2008

  • actually brtom your citation doesn't say anything about up.

    The second sentence of your quotation contains 70 words, giving it readability index scores of Flesch Reading Ease = 50.4, Flesch-Kincaid Grade Level of 12.0

    July 24, 2008

  • someone I worked with once referred to "the whole matching shoot"

    July 24, 2008

  • also, head
    as in "One for his nob"

    July 24, 2008

  • William Heath Robinson (May 31, 1872 – September 13, 1944) was an English cartoonist and illustrator, who signed himself W. Heath Robinson. He is best known for drawings of eccentric machines and "Heath Robinson" has entered the language as a description of any unnecessarily complex and implausible contraption.

    July 24, 2008

  • see also W. Heath Robinson

    July 24, 2008

  • Reuben Garret Lucius Goldberg (July 4, 1883 - December 7, 1970) was an American cartoonist who received a 1948 Pulitzer Prize for his political cartooning. He is best known for his series of popular cartoons depicting Rube Goldberg machines, complex devices that perform simple tasks in indirect, convoluted ways.

    July 24, 2008

  • an extremely complicated apparatus that performs a very simple, easy task in an indirect and convoluted way

    see Rube Goldberg

    July 24, 2008

  • see Rube Goldberg machine

    July 24, 2008

  • a description of any unnecessarily complex and implausible contraption.

    See W. Heath Robinson

    July 24, 2008

  • French. Literal meaning is "gas factory". Figurative meaning is "overly complicated solution". Can also be used of a business meeting.

    July 24, 2008

  • characters created by author Elisabeth Beresford, originally appearing in a series of children's novels from 1968. Later became nationally famous in the mid 1970s as a result of a BBC children's television show.

    Wombles are pointy-nosed furry creatures who live in burrows, where they help the environment by collecting and recycling rubbish in useful and ingenious ways.

      Principal Wombles were:
    • Great Uncle Bulgaria - the Wombles' leader
    • Tobermory - an engineer and handyman
    • Orinoco - a shirker who loved sleep and food
    • Bungo - over-enthusiastic and bossy
    • Tomsk - athletic Womble
    • Wellington - scientifically inclined
    • Madame Cholet - a cook

    July 24, 2008

  • The Free Church of Scotland. Not to be confused with the Free Presbyterian Church of Scotland, known as the Wee Wee Frees.
    Better than being wee-wee free I suppose

    July 24, 2008

  • child's name for micturition

    July 24, 2008

  • A family motto: "if your eye falls on a bargain, pick it up."

    July 24, 2008

  • Title of 1952 book by Stephen Potter (1900-1969)

    July 24, 2008

    1. two successive punches: in boxing, a punch with one hand followed by a punch from the side cross with the other hand
    2. quick sequential actions or events: two actions or events with significant effects that happen quickly in succession
    3. in soccer, a pass made to another player on the same team who then immediately passes to a new position taken up by the original passer

    July 24, 2008

  • A big punch.
    Some boxing pundits describe Diaz as a fighter who is willing to take two punches to land a single oner. However, against Pacquiao, it was more like five or six punches to a single Diaz punch. And it's a known fact that Manny hits hard so even a two to one exchange may not have worked for Diaz.

    - Pinoy Boxing

    July 24, 2008

  • What gives?

    wordie was off air about six hours yesterday, and today for about three. Can't be just me, because nothing moved on during that time

    July 24, 2008

  • a woman driven by jealousy to extraordinary actions. Derives from the Alex Forrest character (played by Glenn Close) in Fatal Attraction (1987)

    July 24, 2008

  • A sexually explicit romantic novel, usually in a historical setting, especially one involving the seduction of the heroine.

    July 24, 2008

  • Any penny dreadful - one penny for black & white, two pence in colour

    July 24, 2008

  • cf hibernate

    July 24, 2008

  • lullaby

    July 24, 2008

  • a lullaby. French = shepherdess

    July 24, 2008

  • probably boustrophedon

    July 24, 2008

  • well at least it stayed horizontal and left-to-right, not boustrophedon.

    July 24, 2008

  • how James Bond likes his martini

    July 24, 2008

  • How is this other than hawk misspelt?

    July 24, 2008

  • Also, UK satirical magazine

    July 24, 2008

  • I think this was actualy invented by Barry Humphries in the 1960s, in his Barry McKenzie persona, whilst writing a cartoon strip for Private Eye

    July 24, 2008

  • French = in the shit, in trouble

    July 24, 2008

  • cf coracle

    July 24, 2008

  • see also jacksie, prat

    July 24, 2008

  • Buttocks, or anus.

    July 24, 2008

  • see pinoy, pinay

    July 24, 2008

  • a female native of the Philippines

    July 24, 2008

  • see also pinay

    July 24, 2008

  • A (male) native of the Philippines.

    July 24, 2008

  • (pronounced /tʊkəs/ Yiddish for bottom or buttocks. Americanised as "tush".

    July 24, 2008

  • Celtic god of sun and war

    July 24, 2008

  • Billingsgate was one of the old gates into the city. Originally devoted to Belin

    July 24, 2008

  • Billingsgate was the central London fishmarket for may years. It relocated a few years ago. I knew it reasonably well. My Grandfather was a wholesale fishmonger there. Some of his children and their children became fish porters. I worked there myself for a few weeks during summer break in my first University year (I was the very first of any of my paternal or maternal family ever to go to University. I went on to study medicine). The porters were UK famous for their foul language - I can tell you it was pretty awful. So bad was it that the expression'to Billingsgate it' meant to swear with optimum strength. I bet some of this rubbed off onto their wives, although I never heard my grandmother swear.
    I guess Billingsgate was one of the old London gates, like Ludgate. The market was nearby.


    July 24, 2008

  • A large fish market in London, presumably where foul-mouths were in abundance

    July 24, 2008

  • large meat market in London

    July 23, 2008

  • a porter at a meat or fish market, such as Smithfield or Billingsgate.

    July 23, 2008

  • but why mix French and Latin? Shouldn't it be coito-à-la-vache?

    July 23, 2008

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