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On the origins of the English language
I don't have the exact quote, but it comes from Merriam Webster himself:
English is the result of Norman soldiers trying to pick-up Saxon bar maids...
Hi Ed, I get Mailbits trivia delivered to my in-box every morning and this is the one for today:
"How did bulldoze come to mean, "intimidate?"
Is this obvious, or what? The image is clear: Here comes a big, powerful
piece of earth-moving machinery and if you persist in standing in its way,
it will expedite your return to the dust from whence you came.
There?s only one problem: We don?t get the term from the machine -- if
anything, the name of the machine was derived from a previous word that
meant to intimidate and bully. That word began around 1875 as ?bulldose,?
and it referred to beating someone with the ferocity - the dose, or amount
of force -- that would be required to make a bull cower. It may have
originated in the South in the period after the Civil War as a term whites
used to describe a means by which they continued to dominate the region?s
black population. The use of ?bulldozer? to describe a machine dates from
I'm always interesting in words and how they came to have the meanings they do - I hadn't heard that about "kangaroo court" but I had fun looking it up.
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|Cliche Origins||T Paul||Salon||17||06-14-2002 03:04 PM|