from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • noun US A proposition or point of view to advocate, especially motivated by self-interest
  • noun US a grudge


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    Sorry, no example sentences found.


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  • “Ax to grind” is a homonym with different semantics in England and the United States. In both cases it is an idiom formed by phono-semantic matching.

    The American meaning is “an ulterior motive”. It was derived from German acht(ung) = be aware, beware, pay attention + Grund = basis, reason, grounds … probably via Pennsylvania Dutch. Compare German Beweggrund = motive. This idiom was used by Benjamin Franklin who was (among his many other accomplishments) the editor of a German language newspaper.

    The British spelling is usually “axe” and its meaning is “a strong opinion” possibly derived from Hebrew opinion = עַשׁתוּת   aSHToot + (figuratively) strength, might, power = קֶרֶן KeReN => KaShTot + GeReN =>  aX To GRiNd. 

    December 25, 2020

  • A “hatchet to grind” and an “axe to chop with” do not have a similar meaning because neither sounds like the source. In addition, the parts of speech in the idiom and its source may not match. “Axe” is usually a noun and “grind” is usually a verb. But in the American idiom “axe” is a verb and “grind” is a noun. The g at the end of acht(ung) merges with the G in Grund to become the g in grind. So even the word divisions in the source and the idiom may not match.

    December 25, 2020

  • What a load of rubbish.

    December 28, 2020