- Definition and Examples of Backronyms in English
- Verbivore's Feast: Second Course: More Word & Phrase Origins
- A – Apple of My Eye
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Scuba , for example, is a true acronym , evolved from 'self-contained underwater breathing apparatus. Other backronyms wrongly believed to be actual etymologies include 'Constable on Patrol' and 'For Unlawful Carnal Knowledge. Clapp, Elizabeth G. Thornburg, Marc Galanter, and Fred R. I'm afraid this syndrome has been given the overly cute acronym of ACHOO a utosomol dominant c ompelling h elio- o phthalmic o utburst. You name an orbital exercise machine after him. The ministers, Clifford, Arlington, Buckingham, Ashley, and Lauderdale, were at the bottom of various political intrigues in the early s.
According to history, these five, plus others, defaulted on the national debt by closing the exchequer in , started a war with Holland in , and entered into an alliance with the hated French in The English use of the word cabal to mean a group of conspirators predates the nefarious schemes of these five men by at least 25 years.
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Definition and Examples of Backronyms in English
An apparently unread copy in perfect condition. Dust cover is intact; pages are clean and are not marred by notes or folds of any kind. Every word has a secret life hiding behind its dictionary definition. Aftermath has a particularly intriguing history, one that takes us to the fragrant hay meadows of ancient Britain. Aftermath means consequences, results, after-effects.
The math in this term has nothing to do with numbers. An aftermath etymologically refers to the cutting of a second hay crop following the harvest of the first and best growth.
By the midth century, the word was used figuratively to mean resulting condition or that which follows an event. It often bears the negative connotations implied in the expressions aftermath of battle, or aftermath of a hurricane. Warfare and storm suggest a cutting down of life and property, just as aftermath is a cutting of hay. The harvest and preservation of dried grass for livestock has always been an important activity. Hay-reapers of earlier centuries were so valued that they acquired the occupational surname Mather and its variants Mathur and Meder. Harvard president Increase Mather and the minister Cotton Mather were descendants of earlier European hay-harvesters.
The area in the southeastern United States now known as Alabama has been continuously occupied by humans for at least the past 8, years. Prehistoric home of the Choctaw, Chickasaw, Creek and Cherokee, the Alabama area had an estimated population of 50, before European contact. By , the Spanish, French, and Americans had decimated or displaced most of these native inhabitants.
Alabama was declared an American territory in , a state in Yet the original inhabitants of the area left many of their words on the Alabama map: Tuskaloosa, Tuskeegee, Sipsey, Talahatta, Tombigbee, and even Alabama itelf. These are terms of the Muskhogean linguistic family to which all of the native groups belonged. Tuscaloosa, a city and county in west central Alabama, was named after a Choctaw leader who battled the Spanish explorer Hernando de Soto in The Sipsey River in western Alabama was named after the Choctaw word for cottonwood.
Alabama is a Choctaw word that has been translated as plant reapers. Robert Hendrickson, in his Facts on File Encyclopedia of Word and Phrase Origins, suggests that the word originally meant something like I am the one who works the land and harvests food from it. From east to west, the superimposed state touches both the Atlantic and Pacific coasts of the Lower forty-eight. Cut our state in two and make yours third in size is what Alaskans say to muzzle-bragging Texans. With the highest North American mountain, three million lakes, and 33, miles of coastline, this state towers over its 49 siblings.
Most 19th century Americans considered the territory cold, dark, barren, and simply too wild to govern, but the abundance of mineral and natural resources since discovered in Icebergia has made Seward appear visionary. The Tlingit, Haida, Tsimshian, and Athapaskan natives and their ancestors have inhabited the area for 20, years. From the speakers of a boreal language called Aleut and whom the Aleutian Islands were named after came the word alakshack, which the Russians converted to Alaska.
The original Aleut word means something like mainland, great land. The Latin word albus, meaning white, is the progenitor of the modern English words albino, album, Albuquerque, albumen, and Albion. Creatures, human and otherwise, lacking the pigment melanin exhibit the pink skin and white hair of albinism. In classical Rome, an album was a white tablet upon which public notices were inscribed.
Later, in England, an album became a collection of white or blank pages reserved for ledgers, diaries, or signatures.
Verbivore's Feast: Second Course: More Word & Phrase Origins
The phrase phonograph album comes from the days when phonograph recordings came in a booklike binder, similar to the white ledger albums of England. The Latin-based name Albuquerque means white oak. The name of the North American city of Albuquerque was taken from the name of a city in Spain.
Albion is an old poetic name for England.
A – Apple of My Eye
Some etymologists believe this word was fashioned from the Latin albus, in reference to the white cliffs of Dover. The century-old Universal Dictionary of the English Language says the phrase album Graecum, literally Greek white, describes dog excrement when it turns white as chalk. Album Graecum is not an entry in most contemporary dictionaries. It seems extinction has claimed this phrase. While sometimes exhilarating, winter horseback riding can also be dangerous.
This was a serious, sometimes lethal complication in the era of horse-powered travel.
- Accidental Death.
- Definition and Examples of Backronyms in English.
- Verbivore’s Feast.
- Quellenkritik als methodische Grundlage der Onomastik (German Edition);
Imagine a team of two or more horses coursing through a winter landscape, sledge in tow. One of the lead animals, with two inches of icepack on her hooves, loses her footing and falls. The other horses, attached to her by harness, trip and stumble.
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The sledge collides with the fallen mass of horseflesh, and all is chaos. Most American etymologists believe this situation gave rise to the expression all balled up, meaning to be confused, tangled, and exasperated. This title was originally bestowed by the Romans on the goddesses responsible for abundance. Ceres, the deity in charge of grains and the harvest, was an early alma mater, a mother who sustained her mortal children with ample crops. Alexander Pope, the English poet and satirist, was the first to use the term alma mater in this sense, in A former pupil of an alma mater is an alumnus, he who is nourished.
The feminine form, alumna, was recorded in the s. Alma mater is related to the thorny word alimony , which originally meant simply sustenance.
Another etymological relative is aliment, food, nutriment. The alimentary canal is the tubular canal that functions in the digestion and absorption of food. An eponym is a proper name that has become a common word. The medical field has many eponyms that acknowlege the individual who first described a syndrome, disease, or body organ. Alois Alzheimer is the eponym of a brain disease afflicting millions.
Alzheimer was a German physician working in an asylum in the early years of the 20th century. Amongst his many patients was a relatively young woman, age 51, whose problems were unusual. The woman appeared healthy, with normal reflexes and coordination. Yet she roamed the halls of the asylum, unable to find her way back to her room. She had difficulty comprehending the speech of others and was often frustrated in her attempts to communicate verbally.
An autopsy revealed her brain was smaller than might be expected in a woman her age. The physician noted a reduced number of brain cells and abnormally dilated ventricles in the brain.