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Icarus
30110.  Tue Nov 08, 2005 6:12 am Reply with quote

Quote:
Ninepence Nimble as ninepence. Silver ninepences were common till the year 1696, when all unmilled coin was called in. These ninepences were very pliable or nimble, and, being bent, were given as love tokens, the usual formula of presentation being To my love, from my love.


http://www.bootlegbooks.com/Reference/PhraseAndFable/data/891.html

From Brewer's Phrase and Fable...

 
JumpingJack
30112.  Tue Nov 08, 2005 6:18 am Reply with quote

Brilliant Icarus. Thanks.

 
Icarus
30115.  Tue Nov 08, 2005 6:25 am Reply with quote

This one caught my eye, because I really had never heard of it, and I'm a very minor numismaticist who's read three substantial histories of money and coinage.

But, if you search nincepence in Google, you'll find that it's the name of a currency trading site. A QI jewel for me.

 
Theophilus
30221.  Tue Nov 08, 2005 5:43 pm Reply with quote

Hey,
Don't wish to offend any Scots with my first post but....

Oats: a grain, which in England is generally given to horses, but in Scotland supports the people.

Also,

Dull: not exhilarating, not delightful: as, to make dictionaries is dull work.

(Both Johnson)

 
Ciggywink
30222.  Tue Nov 08, 2005 5:50 pm Reply with quote

Theophilus - the second of those is an absolute gem!

 
Theophilus
30225.  Tue Nov 08, 2005 6:05 pm Reply with quote

Ha yeah, it goes well with his definition of a lexicographer:

a writer of dictionaries; a harmless drudge that busies himself in tracing the original, and detailing the signification of words.

 
laidbacklazyman
30253.  Wed Nov 09, 2005 3:11 am Reply with quote

Strangely I had someone hit on my site from a google search yesterday, searching for Garrick Alder. do you think there may be a "Desperately seeking Susan" type of film in the offing, Tom Cruise maybe playing GA?

 
mckeonj
40976.  Tue Dec 20, 2005 6:02 pm Reply with quote

English is the only language to have a Thesaurus, or to need it.
Roget's Thesaurus (=goldmine:Greek)

 
magic sophie
43305.  Thu Jan 05, 2006 2:35 pm Reply with quote

now that's QI... i came across a word the other month Orwellian

Quote:
Adj. 1. Orwellian - of or relating to the works of George Orwell (especially his picture of a future totalitarian state)


which I particularly like...maybe there should be something about The Meaning/Deeper Meaning of Liff... a dictionary for words that haven't been invented yet!

 
gerontius grumpus
43366.  Thu Jan 05, 2006 5:01 pm Reply with quote

Quote:
]Groats are oats without their coats.



The miller at Aberfeldy.

 
eggshaped
46190.  Tue Jan 17, 2006 7:04 am Reply with quote

From the Chambers Dictionary of the Twentieth Century (1901),

Éclair – A small cake, long in length but short in duration.

 
Tas
46229.  Tue Jan 17, 2006 9:04 am Reply with quote

Quote:
The .5p?


Ah, the Tiddler. I rememember as nipper counting out the coppers in my jar, and being forever annoyed, as you had to bank them in multiples of 50p, and they took forever to amount to that!

:-)

Tas

 
eggshaped
46572.  Wed Jan 18, 2006 1:06 pm Reply with quote

OED 1st edtion:

Abbreviator: An officer of the court of Rome, appointed … to draw up the Pope’s briefs

 
eggshaped
46908.  Fri Jan 20, 2006 5:42 pm Reply with quote

Falconer's Universal Dictionary of Marine

Retreat - "the order in which a French fleet retires before an enemy. As it is not properly a term of the British marine, any fuller account would be entirely out of place."

 
Celebaelin
46940.  Fri Jan 20, 2006 7:58 pm Reply with quote

LOL

 

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