Guide Songs of Joy, Whispers of Woe - Rhymes in Awe of the Universe

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Such are the delights of translation. Incidentally my version of Partridge's dictionary also suggests break a leg, extending to 'break a leg above the knee', has been an English expression since first recorded meaning " Broken-legged also referred to one who had been seduced. Such are the delights of early English vulgar slang.. As a footnote pun intended to the seemingly natural metaphor and relationship between luck and leg-breaking is the wonderful quote penned by George Santayana Spanish-Amercian literary philosopher, in his work Character and Opinion in the United States : "All his life [the American] jumps into the train after it has started and jumps out before it has stopped; and he never once gets left behind, or breaks a leg.

On a different track, I am informed, which I can neither confirm nor deny thanks Steve Fletcher, Nov : " In older theatres the device used to raise the curtain was a winch with long arms called 'legs'. If the performance was very successful the legmen might have to raise the curtain so many times they might - 'break a leg' Anyone who has spent time on stage in the theater [US spelling] knows how jealous other players can be of someone whom the audience is rapt with.

By way of the back-handed compliment intended to undermine the confidence of an upcoming star, an envious competitor might gush appreciation at just how great one is and with work how much greater one will be. The young star goes out flush with flattery and, preoccupied with his future fame, promptly falls on his proverbial face. So, one learns in time to be suspicious of disingenuous praise. On the other hand, someone genuinely wishing you well will say 'Break a leg'. This mocks the false flattery and acknowledges that that stage can be perilous to someone with their head in the clouds.

If not paying attention one could literally break a leg by falling into the pit. The reverse psychology helps one to 'stay grounded' so to speak. The Italian saying appears to be translatable to 'Into the wolf's mouth,' which, to me is a reference to the insatiable appetite of the audience for diversion and novelty. And if you don't satisfy them, they will 'eat you alive' In Italian it is often actually considered bad luck to wish someone good luck 'Buona Fortuna' , especially before an exam, performance or something of the kind. Italians instead use the expression 'In bocca al lupo', which literally means 'Into the wolf's mouth' And this thanks J Yuenger, Jan , which again I can neither confirm nor deny: " I see you had a question on 'Break a leg,' and as a theatre person I had always heard of break a leg as in 'bend a knee,' apparently a military term.

The idea being that if you tell an actor to break a leg, it is the same as telling him to deliver a performance worthy of a bow.

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As a common theme I've seen running through stage superstitions, actors need to be constantly reminded that they need to do work in order to make their performances the best. Thus, if you wished an actor good luck, they would stop trying as hard at the show, because luck was on their side Break a leg derives from wishing an actor to be lucky enough to be surprised by the presence of royalty in the theatre US theater , as in a 'command performance'.

These shows would start by acknowledging the presence of the royal guests with the entire cast on stage at bended knee. The suggestion of 'a broken leg' wishes for the actor the good fortune of performing for royalty and the success that would follow due to their visit to your theatre I am German, and we indeed have the saying 'Hals-und Beinbruch' which roughly means 'break a neck and leg'. The origin of that saying is not proven but widely believed to originate from the Jewish 'hazloche un broche' which means 'luck and blessing', and itself derives from the Hebrew 'hazlacha we bracha', with the same meaning.

For Germans failing to understand 'hazloch un broche', this sounds similar to 'hals und bruch' meaning 'neck and break'. Given that this has no real meaning, a natural interpretation would be 'hals und beinbruch', especially since 'bein' did not only mean 'leg', but also was used for 'bones' in general, giving the possible translation of 'break your neck and bones'.

That it was considered back luck to wish for what you really want 'Don't jinx it! Such ironic wishes - 'anti-jinxes' - appear in most languages - trying to jinx the things we seek to avoid. In Germany 'Hals-und Beinbruch' is commonly used when people go skiing. Fishermen use a variation: 'Mast-und Schotbruch', which means on a boat 'break the the main poles' which hold the sails. The German 'break' within 'Hals-und Beinbruch' it is not an active verb, like in the English 'break a leg', but instead a wish for the break to happen. The German 'Hals- und Beinbruch' most likely predates the English 'break a leg', and the English is probably a translation of the German Thanks to Neale for the initial question.

This sense is supported by the break meaning respite or relaxation, as in tea-break. Both senses seem to have developed during the 19th century. Earliest usage of break meaning luck was predominantly USA, first recorded in according to Partridge. The term Brummie extends also to anything from Birmingham, and also more widely to the surrounding West Midlands region of the UK, especially when used by UK folk living quite a long way from Birmingham. Many English southerners, for example, do not have a very keen appreciation for the geographical and cultural differences between Birmingham and Coventry, or Birmingham and Wolverhampton.

Interestingly, although considered very informal slang words, Brum and Brummie actually derive from the older mids English name for Birmingham: Brummagem, and similar variants, which date back to the Middle Ages. In past times Brummagem also referred informally to cheap jewellery and plated wares, fake coins, etc. The root word is bakh'sheesh in Arabic, notably from what was Persia now Iran , with variations in Urdu and Turkish, meaning a gift or a present.

I am grateful for the following note from Huw Thomas in the Middle East: " It comes from the Arabic word bakh'sheesh, meaning 'free' or 'gift'. In Arabic today, it refers to the tip given to a restaurant waiter. The precise reference to buck a male deer in this sense - buckshot, buckknife, or some other buckhorn, buckskin or other buck-related item - is not proven and remains open to debate, and could be a false trail. While 'pass the buck' seems generally accepted among the main dictionaries and references as card-playing terminology for passing the deal or pot, and is generally accepted as the metaphorical origin of the modern expression meaning to pass the problem or responsibility, uncertainty remains as to what exactly the buck was.

No-one knows for sure. To complicate matters further, buck and bucking are words used in card-playing quite aside from the 'pass the buck' expression referring to dealing. For example - an extract from the wonderful Pictorial History of the Wild West by Horan and Sann, published in , includes the following reference to Wild Bill Hickock: " He didn't wear down the two-inch heels of his sixty-dollar boots patrolling the streets to make law 'n order stick.

He spent most of his time bucking the cards in the saloons This reference is simply to the word buck meaning rear up or behave in a challenging way, resisting, going up against, challenging, taking on, etc. So while we can be fairly sure that the card-playing terminology 'pass the buck' is the source of the modern saying, we cannot be certain of what exactly the buck was. My thanks to S Karl for prompting the development of this explanation. I am grateful ack K Eshpeter for the following contributed explanation: "It wasn't until the s when Harry Truman became president that the expression took on an expanded meeting.

Truman was a man of the people and saw the office of president of the US as a foreboding responsibility for which he had ultimate accountability. He kept a sign on his desk in the Oval Office to remind him of this and it is where the expression 'The Buck Stops Here' originated. Most people will know that bugger is an old word - it's actually as old as the 12th century in English - and that it refers to anal intercourse. A bugger is a person who does it. Bugger is the verb to do it.

Buggery is the old word describing the act or offence, as was, and remains, in certain circumstances and parts of the world. It's all about fear, denial and guilt. What's more surprising about the word bugger is where it comes from: Bugger is from Old French end of the first millennium, around AD , when the word was bougre, which then referred to a sodomite and a heretic, from the Medieval Latin word Bulgarus, which meant Bulgarian, based on the reputation of a sect of Bulgarian heretics, which was alleged and believed no doubt by their critics and opponents to indulge in homosexual practices.

It is fascinating that a modern word like bugger, which has now become quite a mild and acceptable oath, contains so much richness of social and psychological history. In terms of fears and human hang-ups it's got the lot - religious, ethnic, sexual, social - all in one little word. This metaphor may certainly have helped to reinforce the expression, but is unlike to have been the origin. More probable is the derivation suggested by Brewer in that first, bears became synonymous with reducing prices, notably the practice of short selling, ie. This terminology, Brewer suggests referring to Dr Warton's view on the origin came from the prior expression, 'selling the skin before you have caught the bear'.

This proverb was applied to speculators in the South Sea Bubble scheme, c. So was the huntsman by the bear oppressed, whose hide he sold before he caught the beast The bull and bear expressions have been in use since at least as far back as ; according to financial writer Don Luskin, reference and explanation of bull and bear meanings appears in the book Every Man His Own Broker, or, A Guide to Exchange Alley, by Thomas Mortimer.

Luskin says his 10th edition copy of the book was printed in Other references: David W. The bum refers both to bum meaning tramp, and also to the means of ejection, i. Bum also alludes to a kick up the backside, being another method of propulsion and ejection in such circumstances. Less easy to understand is the use of the word rush, until we learn that the earlier meaning of the word rush was to drive back and repel, also to charge, as in Anglo-French russher, and Old French russer, the flavour of which could easily have been retained in the early American-English use of the word.

Hatchet is a very old word, meaning axe, and probaby derived from Old German happa for scythe or sickle. The hatchet as an image would have been a natural representation of a commoner's weapon in the middle ages, and it's fascinating that the US and British expressions seem to have arisen quite independently of each other in two entirely different cultures. I am grateful Bryan Hopkins for informing me that in the Book of Mormon, a history of the ancient Native American Indians, an episode is described in which a large group ' This is not to say of course that the expression dates back to that age, although it is interesting to note that the custom on which the saying is based in the US is probably very ancient indeed.

Unrelated but interestingly, French slang for the horse-drawn omnibus was 'four banal' which translated then to 'parish oven' - what a wonderful expression. Bear in mind that a wind is described according to where it comes from not where it's going to. A South wind comes from the South. Sailing 'by' a South wind would mean sailing virtually in a South direction - 'to the wind' almost into the wind. Different sails on a ship favoured winds from different directions, therefore to be able to sail 'by and large' meant that the ship sailed well 'one way or another' - 'to the wind and off it'.

Also, the expression used when steering a course of 'by and large' meant being able to using both methods of wind direction in relation to the ship and so was very non-specific. Early Scottish use of the word cadet, later caddie, was for an errand boy. The golf usage of the caddie term began in the early s. Such warrants were used typically to enable a prisoner's freedom, or to imprison someone in the Bastille.

The holder could fill in the beneficiary or victim's name. The practice was abolished on 15 January Heywood's collection is available today in revised edition as The Proverbs and Epigrams of John Heywood. Other sources suggest or later publication dates, which refer to revised or re-printed editions of the original collection. Heywood was a favourite playwright of Henry VIII, and it is probably that his writings gained notoriety as a result. The English language was rather different in those days, so Heywood's version of the expression translates nowadays rather wordily as 'would ye both eat your cake and have your cake?

Whether Heywood actually devised the expression or was the first to record it we shall never know. Etymologist Michael Quinion is one who implies that the main credit be given to Heywood, citing Heywood's work as the primary source. Quinion also mentions other subsequent uses of the expression by John Keats in and Franklin D Roosevelt in , but by these times the expression could have been in popular use.

The word cake was used readily in metaphors hundreds of years ago because it was a symbol of luxury and something to be valued; people had a simpler less extravagant existence back then. Brewer tells of the tradition in USA slavery states when slaves or free descendents would walk in a procession in pairs around a cake at a social gathering or party, the most graceful pair being awarded the cake as a prize.

This also gave us the expression 'cake walk' and 'a piece of cake' both meaning a job or contest that's very easy to achieve or win, and probably although some disagree the variations 'take the biscuit' or 'take the bun', meaning to win although nowadays in the case of 'takes the biscuit' is more just as likely to be an ironic expression of being the worst, or surpassing the lowest expectations. The variations of bun and biscuit probably reflect earlier meanings of these words when they described something closer to a cake.

On which point, I am advised ack P Nix that the typically American version expression 'takes the cake' arguably precedes the typically British version of 'takes the biscuit'. Maybe, maybe not, since 'takes the biscuit' seems to have a British claim dating back to see ' takes the biscuit '. This all raises further interesting questions about the different and changing meanings of words like biscuit and bun.

Biscuit in America is a different thing to biscuit in Britain, the latter being equivalent to the American 'cookie'. Bun to many people in England is a simple bread roll or cob, but has many older associations to sweeter baked rolls and cakes sticky bun, currant bun, iced bun, Chelsea bun, etc. The expression 'to call a spade a spade' is much older, dating back to at least BC, when it appeared in Aristophanes' play The Clouds he also wrote the play The Birds, in BC, which provided the source of the 'Cloud Cuckoo Land' expression.

At some stage between the 14th and 16th centuries the Greek word for trough 'skaphe:' was mis-translated within the expression into the Latin for spade - 'ligo' - almost certainly because Greek for a 'digging tool' was 'skapheion' - the words 'skaphe:' and 'skapheion' have common roots, which is understandable since both are hollowed-out concave shapes. This crucial error was believed to have been committed by Desiderius Erasmus Dutch humanist, , when translating work by Plutarch. The translation into the English 'spade' is believed to have happened in by Nicolas Udall when he translated Erasmus's Latin version of the expression.

While the origin of the expression is not racial or 'non-politically-correct', the current usage, by association with the perceived meaning of 'spade', most certainly is potentially racially sensitive and potentially non-PC, just as other similarly non-politically correct expressions have come to be so, eg 'nitty-gritty', irrespective of their actual origins. Developed from Mark Israel's notes on this subject. Partridge suggests the origins of open a can of worms are Canadian, from c. The Canadian origins are said by Partridge to allude to a type of tin of worms typically purchased by week-end fishermen.

The OED describes a can of worms as a 'complex and largely uninvestigated topic'. Can of worms is said by Partridge to have appeared in use after the fuller open a can of worms expression, and suggests Canadian use started c. Interestingly Partridge refers to an expression 'open a tin' which apparently originated in the Royal Navy, meaning to start a quarrel, which clearly indicates that the metaphor in basic origins dates back earlier than the specific can of worms adaptation, which has since become perhaps the most widely used of all variations on this theme.

Cassells suggests s American origins for can of worms, and open a can of worms, and attributes a meanings respectively of 'an unpleasant, complex and unappetizing situation', and 'to unearth and display a situation that is bound to lead to trouble or to added and unwanted complexity'. Cassells also refers to a s US expression 'open a keg of nails' meaning to get drunk on corn whisky, which although having only a tenuous association to the can of worms meanings, does serve to illustrate our natural use of this particular type of metaphor.

Farther back in history the allusion to opening a container to unleash problems is best illustrated in by the 'Pandora's Box' expression from ancient Greek mythology, in which Pandora releases all the troubles of the world from a jar or box, depending on the interpretation you read which she was commanded by Zeus not to open.

The North American origins of this particular expression might be due to the history and development of the tin canning industry: The origins of tin cans began in the early s during the Anglo-French Napoleonic Wars, instigated by Napoleon Bonaparte or more likely his advisors when the French recognised the significant possibilities of being able to maintain fresh provisions for the French armies.

The French solution was initially provided via glass jars. In response, the British then developed tin cans, which were tested and proven around in response to the French glass technology. Development and large scale production of tin cans then moved to America, along with many emigrating canning engineers and entrepreneurs, where the Gold Rush and the American Civil War fuelled demand for improved canning technology and production.

The vast North American tin canning industry was built on these foundations, which has dominated the world in this sector ever since. According to Brewer , who favours the above derivation, 'card' in a similar sense also appears in Shakespeare's Hamlet, in which, according to Brewer, Osric tells Hamlet that Laertes is 'the card and calendar of gentry' and that this is a reference to the 'card of a compass' containing all the compass points, which one assumes would have been a removable dial within a compass instrument?

Brewer explains that the full expression in common use at the time mid-late s was 'card of the house', meaning a distinguished person. If the Shakespearian root is valid this meaning perhaps blended with and was subsequently further popularised by the playing card metaphor.

Interestingly Brewer lists several other now obsolete expressions likening people and situations to cards. It's worth noting that playing cards were a very significant aspect of entertainment and amusement a few hundreds of years ago before TV and computers. Hence why so many expressions derive from their use.

See below. The origins of western style playing cards can be traced back to the 10th century, and it is logical to think that metaphors based on card playing games and tactics would have quite naturally evolved and developed into popular use along with the popularity of the playing cards games themselves, which have permeated most societies for the last thousand years, and certainly in a form that closely resembles modern playing cards for the past six hundred years. The Vitello busied at Arezzo, the Orsini irritating the French; the war of Naples imminent, the cards are in my hands..

Caesar, or Cesare, Borgia, , was an infamous Italian - from Spanish roots - soldier, statesman, cardinal and murderer, brother of Lucrezia Borgia, and son of Pope Alexander VI. Brewer's view is that playing cards were developed from an Indian game called 'The Four Rajahs', which is consistent with the belief that the roots of playing cards were Asian.

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In The Four Rajahs game the playing pieces were the King; the General referred to as 'fierche' ; the Elephant 'phil' ; the Horsemen; the Camel 'ruch' ; and the Infantry all of which has clear parallels with modern chess. Brewer asserts that the French corrupted, or more likely misinterpreted the word 'fierche' for general, ie.

Similarly Brewer says that the Elephant, 'phil' presumably the third most powerful piece , was converted into 'fol' or 'fou', meaning Knave, equivalent to the 'Jack'. Incidentally Brewer also suggests that the Camel, 'ruch', became what is now the Rook in chess.

It seems according to Brewer that playing cards were originally called 'the Books of the Four Kings', while chess was known as 'the Game of the Four Kings'. Brewer also cites a reference to a certain Jacquemin Gringonneur having "painted and guilded three packs of cards for the King Charles VI, father of Charles VII mentioned above in As for the 'court' cards, so called because of their heraldic devices, debate continues as to the real identity of the characters and the extent to which French characters are reflected in English cards. Prepare to be confused Brewer also suggests that French Queen cards were 'Argine' probably a reference to mythology or an anagram of regina, meaning queen - no-one seems to know , anyway Brewer's suggested queens are: Hearts - Juno sister and wife of Zeus ; Clubs - Judith Jewish heroine of the Bible Old Testament, or some say Judith of Bavaria, whoever she was These four Queens according to Brewer represented royalty, fortitude, piety and wisdom.

Not surprisingly all of these characters lived at the same time, the early s, which logically indicates when playing cards were first popularly established in the form we would recognise today, although obviously the King characters, with the exception of possible confusion between Charlemagne and Charles VII of France, pre-date the period concerned. I did say this particular slice of history is less than clear. Nevertheless, by way of summary, here is Brewer's take on things:. If you weren't confused enough already, more recent French cards actually show the names of the characters on the cards which I suspect has kept this whole debate rolling , and these names reveal some inconsistencies with Brewer's otherwise mostly cohesive analysis, not least in the Queens department, namely: Queen of Hearts is Judith Juno does not appear ; and Queen of Clubs is 'Argine' instead of Judith whoever Argine is; again, no-one seems to know, save suggestions that it's an anagram of regina, meaning queen, or could be something to do with Argos.

Predictably there is much debate also as to the identities of the Jacks or Knaves, which appear now on the cards but of which Brewer made no comment. Lancelot - easy - fully paid-up knight of the round table. Hector - of Troy, or maybe brother of Lancelot. Hogier - possibly Ogier the Dane. If you have more information on this matter it is a can of worms if ever I saw one then I would be delighted to receive it. The reason why the Ace of Spades in Anglo-American playing cards has a large and ornate design dates back to the s, when the English monarchy first began to tax the increasingly popular playing cards to raise extra revenues.

The practice of stamping the Ace of Spades, probably because it was the top card in the pack, with the official mark of the relevant tax office to show that duty had been paid became normal in the s. Chambers and OED are clear in showing the earlier Latin full form of 'carnem levare', from medieval Latin 'carnelevarium', and that the derivation of the 'val' element is 'putting away' or 'removing', and not 'saying farewell, as some suggest.

OED in fact states that the connection with Latin 'vale', as if saying 'farewell to flesh' is due to 'popular' misundertood etymology. In my view the most logical explanation is that it relates to the 'cat-o-nine-tails' whip used in olden days maritime punishments, in which it is easy to imagine that the victim would be rendered incapable of speech or insolence.

A less likely, but no less dramatic suggested origin, is that it comes from the supposed ancient traditional middle-eastern practice of removing the tongues of liars and feeding them to cats. See also 'pig in a poke'. Additionally this expression might have been reinforced ack G Taylor by the maritime use of the 'cat 'o' nine tails' a type of whip which was kept in a velvet bag on board ship and only brought out to punish someone. In other words; a person's status or arrogance cannot actually control the opinions held about them by other people of supposedly lower standing - the version 'a cat may look at a king' is used in this sense when said by Alice, in Lewis Carroll's book 'Alice's Adventures In Wonderland'.

The different variations of this very old proverb are based on the first version, which is first referenced by John Heywood in his book, Proverbs. The origin is unknown, but it remains a superb example of how effective proverbs can be in conveying quite complex meanings using very few words. The more modern expression 'a cat may laugh at a queen' seems to be a more aggressive adaptation of the original medieval proverb 'a cat may look on a king', extending the original meaning, ie.

The red-handed image is straightforward enough to have evolved from common speech, that is to say, there's unlikely to have been one single quote that originated the expression. Chambers Dictionary of Etymology varies slightly with the OED in suggesting that charisma replaced the earlier English spelling charism first recorded before around The preference of the Shorter OED for the words charism and charismata plural suggests that popular use of charisma came much later than Chambers says the Greek root words are charisma and charizesthai to show favour , from charis favour, grace and related to chairein, meaning rejoice.

According to Chambers again, the adjective charismatic appeared in English around , from the Greek charismata, meaning favours given by God. Charisma, which probably grew from charismatic, which grew from charismata, had largely shaken its religious associations by the mid s, and evolved its non-religious meaning of personal magnetism by the s.

The original Charlie whose name provided the origin for this rhyming slang is Charlie Smirke, the English jockey. Charlie Smirke was a leading rider and racing celebrity from the ss, notably winning the Eclipse Stakes at Sandown Park in on Windsor Lad, and again in on the Aga Khan's horse Tulyar second place was the teenage Lester Piggott on Gay Time. Later in the s the word chavi or chavo, etc. This old usage was not then necessarily insulting, unlike the modern meaning of chav, which most certainly is. The suggestion that chav is a shortening of Chatham, based on the alleged demographic of the Medway town in Kent, is not supported by any reliable etymology, but as with other myths of slang origins, the story might easily have reinforced popular usage, especially among people having a dim view of the Medway towns.

In the North-East of England according to Cassells the modern variants are charva and charver, which adds no credibility to the Chatham myth. Separately I am informed thanks N Johansen that among certain folk in the area of Cheltenham, Gloucestershire, CHAV is said to be an abbreviation of 'Cheltenham Average', a term supposedly coined by girls of the up-market Cheltenham Ladies College when referring to young men of the lower-market Cheltenham council housing estates.

The expression is increasingly used more widely in referring to a situation where substantial either unwanted or negatively viewed attention or pressure is being experienced by a person, usually by a man, perhaps from interviewers, photographers, followers, or perhaps investigators. In the case of adulation there may also a suggestion of toadiness or sycophancy creepy servitude. This is an adaptation of the earlier s expression to be 'all over' something or someone meaning to be obsessed or absorbed by something, someone, even oneself.

The expression 'Chinese fire drill' supposedly derives from a true naval incident in the early s involving a British ship, with Chinese crew: instructions were given by the British officers to practice a fire drill where crew members on the starboard side had to draw up water, run with it to engine room, douse the 'fire', at which other crew members to prevent flooding would pump out the spent water, carry it away and throw it over the port side.

After initially going to plan, fuelled by frantic enthusiasm as one side tried to keep pace with the other, the drill descended into chaos, ending with all crew members drawing up water from the starboard side, running with it across the ship, entirely by-passing the engine room, and throwing the un-used water straight over the port side.

It's certainly an amusing metaphor, if these days an extremely politically incorrect one. It's akin to other images alluding to the confusion and inconsistency that Westerners historically associated with Chinese language and culture, much dating back to the 1st World War. Other expressions exploiting the word 'Chinese' to convey confusing or erratic qualities: Chinese whispers confused messages , Chinese ace inept pilot , and Chinese puzzle a puzzle without a solution ; 'Chinese fire drill' is very much part of this genre.

Alternative rhyming slang are cream crackers and cream crackered, which gave rise to the expression 'creamed', meaning exhausted or beaten. The words are the same now but they have different origins. In modern German the two words are very similar - klieben to split and kleben to stick, so the opposites-but-same thing almost works in the German language too, just like English, after over a thousand years of language evolution. Thanks Paul Merison. A specific but perhaps not exclusive origin refers to US railroad slang 'clean the clock' meaning to apply the airbrakes and stop the train quickly, by which the air gauge the clock shows zero and is thus 'cleaned'.

Extending this explanation, clock has long been slang meaning a person's face and to hit someone in the face, logically from the metaphor of a clock-face and especially the classical image of a grandfather clock. The word clean has other slang meanings in the sense of personal or material loss or defeat, for example, clean up, clean out, and simply the word clean. Not many people had such skills. Clergy and clerics and clerks were therefore among the most able and highly respected and valued of all 'workers'.

Thanks to F Tims for raising this one. London meteorologist Luke Howard set up the first widely accepted cloud name and classification system, which was published in The system is essentially still in use today, albeit increased from Howard's original seven-cloud structure.

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It is said that when the World Meteorological Organisation added the ninth cloud type cumulonimbus - the towering thundercloud to the structure in this gave rise to the expression 'on cloud nine', although etymology sources suggest the expression appeared much later, in the s Cassells. The allusions to floating on air and 'being high' of course fit the cloud metaphor and would have made the expression naturally very appealing, especially in the context of drugs and alcohol. Cumulonimbus is not the highest cloud as some explanations suggest; the metaphor more likely caught on because of superstitious and spiritual associations with the number nine as with cloud seven , the dramatic appearance and apparent great height of cumulonimbus clouds, and that for a time cloud nine was the highest on the scale, if not in the sky.

Up until the s, when someone used the word clue to mean solving a puzzle, the meaning was literally 'ball of thread', and it is only in more recent times that this converted into its modern sense, in which the original metaphor and 'ball of thread' meaning no longer exist. The word was first recorded in the sense of a private tutor in , and in the sense of an athletics coach in Brewer's dictionary contains the following interesting comments: "Coach - A private tutor - the term is a pun on getting on fast.

To get on fast you take a coach - you cannot get on fast without a private tutor, ergo, a private tutor is the coach you take in order that you get on quickly university slang. Where are these men? Asleep beneath their grounds:. They called me theirs,. When I heard the Earth-song. IN May, when sea-winds pierced our solitudes,. Made the black water with their beauty gay;.

Insect lover of the sun,. When the south winds in May days,. Hot midsummer's petted crone,. Aught unsavory or unclean. Wiser far than human seer;. Leave the chaff, and take the wheat. No wisdom from our berries went? Come see the north wind's masonry. Nor gun nor scythe to see. And at his bidding seemed to come. Low lies the plant to whose creation went. Or west, no thunder fear. Of the tree and of the cloud. In summer's scorching glow. One dry, and one the living tree. From these companions, power and grace. And solid nature to a dream. Once again the pine-tree sung:—.

Body with shadow still pursued. And the ripples in rhymes the oar forsake. And conscious Law is King of kings. I heard, and I obeyed,—. The Titan heeds his sky-affairs,. For homes of virtue, sense and taste. Now in sordid weeds they sleep,. Never balk the waiting ear. On the summit as I stood,. And soon my cone will spin. Nor pictures pale, but Jove and Mars. Risk or ruin he must share. As in the old poetic fame. Ages are thy days,. Of the old building Intellect. Complement of human kind,. Long morrow to this mortal youth.

But who is he that prates. Or who, with accent bolder,. The God who made New Hampshire.


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Rattles the coffin-lid. What boots thy zeal,. The horseman serves the horse,. There are two laws discrete,. Let man serve law for man;. Yet do not I implore. The Cossack eats Poland,. And why, when mirth unseals all tongues,. I cannot shake off the god;. Yet spake yon purple mountain,. Into nature again. Lavish, lavish promiser,. Ah, what avails it. I turn the proud portfolio. And Piranesi's lines. And always keep us so. Thee gliding through the sea of form,. No perfect form could ever bind.

All that's good and great with thee. Unmake me quite, or give thyself to me! It was never for the mean;. Leave all for love;. Of thy beloved. Cling with life to the maid;. Though thou loved her as thyself,. O'er ten thousand, thousand acres,. Hark to the winning sound! When Mirth is dumb and Flattery's fled,. LOVE scatters oil. The cloud was around me,. No pain was within,. The shafts of the god. I knew of them not. WHY lingerst thou, pale violet, to see the dying year;. Why wilt thou live when none around reflects thy pensive ray? The tall green trees, that shelter thee, their last gay dress put on;.

I sit working on homework My friends all laugh and play Their ability to gossip is astounding I hope they don't lose their way. Mama and I. How about a princess mama? That will be way too much drama How about a rock star? How about a lawyer? The Goal to Adulthood. In my youth, I only care for popularity, forgetting how to show sincerity. Friendships, real or fake that's all I wanted to make. My mom became my foe, always insisting me to grow.

Social Justice. That only anorexia can fix. Those hips, these thighs. This hurt, the lies. The Glow Now. Star Baby. Young teen in the streets, looking for love on empty. Mother's love wasn't enough so she had to leave. Then she met you, bright eyed beauty. Never knew she was special Late night convos, a late night session. People Will Talk. I am a seventeen now, still dancing like no one is watching.

Empty Purse. I was invited to a movie night out with my friends It was Friday, it would do none of us harm. This was our time to have fun and forget. Standing Alone. When I was a boy sometime ago I faced a problem and wanted to let go. I felt scared but wasn't sure where and I was not strong. I had little courage. Awaiting Life. Gone but not Bygone. Sunshine and a Rainbow.

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By : Melissa H. The Change. Thick lips, thick thighs, wide hips, big eyes. I knew I was growing up when my body began to change. At first it was subtle,. My Experience with Liars. Experience with someone who is a liar Will always make my heart burn like fire I can't imagine why someone would do such a thing Not understanding what kind of circumstances lying may bring. When the dam split open. The Night Sky. Staring at the night sky, the stars would twinkle. The moon shone its light and my eyes would crinkle. My dreams ran wild,.

Aquired Taste. Cookies, oranges, pizza as I please But not the nasty food,. A fence is like an airplane, It won't fly without jet fuel. A commitment is like a door, You don't know what's on the otherside. Sprouting Up. When I was younger I had an idea about being like the big kids. Growing up has many responsibilities. You must not show any traits of puerility. I wish I knew that. Pomp and Circumstance Rang in my ears as I slowly took one last Glance At the world around me, that would change forever.

Diploma in my hand! Now I'm Grown. As The Sands Fall. As the sands of time fall And collect in a mound I stop and reflect On the wisdom I've found For every day is a lesson A subject to learn And by the end of the day Priceless knowledge is earned. The New. I hear. Blooming Love. Innocence to Present Tense. Laughing on the playgound with no regret. A life of consequence.

I Love Face Paint!

Playground games to college classes. My life displayed. Hidden Pathway. There are many feet on this long road, No one's quite sure, at first, where it goes.


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Some of us carry a heavy load Others, on accident of course, step on toes. At first, the end destination is in sight. All I want to do is be quite,A place in nowhere where I want to hide. Let it be rainy, the weather is calmLet this place be the one where others can come. I started off so timid and shy. Conformity, humility. I try to hold on to my doll. She is so fragile still. I brushed her hair, can't let her fall. I'm deep in dreams, then hear the call Of Mom, "The food will chill! Am I living a life worth sharing?

You ponder this question a lot the cyclical nature of your thoughts feeling stranded you just need it to stop. You know that feeling, right? Lost Superhero. Cape fluttering behind me Now caught in the leaves No one to give me the third degree Nevertheless she still believes. Growing some ears. I used to be a big pain in the rear,. Thanksgiving dinner. It's thanksgiving dinner the entire family gathers at my house There's all kinds of food: Turkey, stuffing, cornbread, and even Brussels sprouts.

How to Drive. You just got your first car, but to drive is something new. Your hands are on the wheel, but they're not at 10 and 2. You haven 't had much practice and you didn't take the test,. Mothers All Around Us. Mothers all around us, everywhere we go. Feeding us, teaching us and watching as we grow. Beautiful young mothers, who never grow old, Who keep a smile of sunshine and a heart as pure as gold. The First. To be the first, What a wonderful thought. To be the first in a family, Oh how much has been fought To achieve something my family has not.

Tree of Hope. When I was young I used to dream I would run through fields, so ever green Up so high the sun would gleam It gave me hope of possibility. The Next Level. Since being grown up, I read more now. This all began in She was a child that grew up poor. Thought she would never open a door. From kicking and screaming, To second and gleaming; New journies ahead, but still wants more.

Bring Back The Light. How long does one wait How long should it actually take? A minute an hour for sakes. We sit and we wait for something to happen When in reality. It already did it just didn't wait for you. Moving away to college. Living in your own bubble is quite nice Everything is how is supposed to be because there is no other way There is no need for you to rise You feel comfortable and there is nothing else to say. She left her shoes at the door Her dreams in her bed Her pride on the floor Her thoughts in her head No food in the fridge No money in the bank No magic hand or bridge Her mind is just blank.

You're Independent now! Fifthteen, growing older and coming of age, I knew that things were bound to change. Not really knowing how to fill out an application, I sat there with a great deal of hesitation. Looking Back When The Glass. They pose ideals of perfectionism, Which quickly became my critcism They preach of beauty of this and not yours, Yet this is what I believed as I grew.

Autumnal Tide. Love is tested, Lust is bested,Time will tell, Eyes will sell,What truth will behold,Ill will cant be sold,To the one who bears well For a fair share and a just causeOur words are never forced to pause. Let us let. Stupid Dogs. Little Flower Blooms. Glow to Grow. Childhood has begun to fade; finding your purpose is the aim. The pieces of life spread apart like trinkets of a game. Glow until you grow or until growing causes glowing. Beginning higher education challenges everything you know.

Questioning the p. Jealousy - a body part? There's the funny bone. And we know what our heartstrings are. Oh, and that gut feeling we have to signal danger. The Echo of Love. We not safe no more Nevermind the point that we the mother nation my people are getting killd All hard to see the pain of our mother's crying but violent has just taken over our bodys.

Fighting the hunger Just trying to survive Rationing slivers Just biding our time Racing through my homework Then teaching my sister persistence I tried to be calm But she needed desperate assistance. A Girl. What's In The Middle. I'm Learning. Time Flies. Ever since I was 8 I always worried about when I ate Constantly witnessing my parents struggle to put food on my plate. The psychological feel of advancement A portal to a new beginning Using darkness to create and mold my light.

Sweetie Pie. My dog Sweetie Pie is black and white, She sleeps curled up all cozy and nice, But wakes in a fright, When something is not right, It was just some falling dice. Accomplishments Over Time. Add a carrot nose and two acorn eyes Maybe a scarf too My six-year-old self thought at the time Name him Billy My snowy creation He might be small and silly. The Last Balloon. My Walk to Maturity. Heart broken and alone. Once I might have thought of broccoli as trees, Or never had to worry about hidden fees. Once I might have laughed all day, With one concern of what game to play.

Without a doubt,. Grow up, Stop looking at things so close up. I sat the bench all season of Field Hockey, Some said it's because I'm not too jockey. I watched my friends run and play, While I sat there feeling gray. The old me vs. The new me. Brush my teeth, fix my hair, off to bed.

Wake up, brush my teeth, go to school, go to work. Weekends wake up get dressed go to church. The cycle repeats. Emily Dickinson had me I wanna be in sublime harmony With the birds, trees, flowers and bees I mean would it be sheer blasphemy. An Unending Fight. Although I was born into a time of relative peace while Americans had to toil, I was never aware of the amount of time that was left, Before the ultimate incursion on American soil.

The stares, They burn. I shoot my hand up in class. Teacher staring at my ass. The beginning of a perfect liberal poem! The glares,. Driving Alone. Wilson Light Tunnel. As a child Chocolate was delicious I prefered my salsa mild And nothing was malicious As a tween The world was my enemy I was without an iota of hope to gleen And dawn came upon my reality. Two children were born Neglected and alone. Till the age of two When you took us home. Battles were fought And habits were changed.

Make some changes at your own pace, And your internal glow-up will be in range. The Summer I Grew Up. In my early years, the world consisted of me, myself, and I. Later on, many considered me to be extremely shy. During my high school career I discovered various hobbies which helped me escape my fear. Little, Playful, Full of Joy; that's who I was as a little boy. Stress free, shy, but so full of glee. Until Heaven took him away from me. I miss you, Dad. Worrying, crying, bullied for so long. Regrets Healed Over. Blood Isn't as Thick as You'd Hope.

Boys and Girls she had. Many of them gathered round. Love she spoke, yet love we didn't feel. Love we didn't see. In the footsteps of the trees, we grow. Propsering flowers and bees, we grow. A little sapling at birth, we grow. Looking to find our worth, we grow. Now a toddler tree, we grow. Spark of curiosity, we grow. Your age. Your face changes. But me. How did I change? A Work of Art. Dark Room.

Out of My Hands. Perfect Girl. Shower Confidence. Support System. A girl to love, that sounds like fun but sadly they go one by one That leaves me with a whine for stability someone to bring me tranquillity. Thief of Love. Too Much. Pity Me. Look Down On Me, as i look up to my dreams as i begin to start planning my schemes though for you, not enough it seems. Bring Me Down,. When Memories Change. This Is Who I Am. Back in the day when I was a young girl, They said my teeth should be white as a pearl. They said I needed makeup to be glam, But now I know that this is who I am.

In middle school, they said I was too fat,. Yellow Balloons. On the last week of third grade, All of what we knew came to fade. Our blue sky had turned to gray. We were told that he would never see another day. As a Day Goes By. In the morning, I wake up and all these problems come about All of these problems cause me to act out Parents, parents, parents, what a pain.

Not a Child. I'm not a child anymore I can comb my hair and dress myself, I couldn't do that before. I'm not a child anymore, I stand tall and I speak up, I've grown inside a lot more. I'm not a child anymore,. The Returning. A new place to achieve my ambition A new place to explore ny future Though I am risking with this transition My anxiety can be cut with knives. I know I am grown when I'm alone. I know I am old when I call the doctor on the phone. I know I am getting up there when my skills start to hone.

I know I am aged when money for school is on loan. I know I am ancien. Summer Nights. How I've Changed. In my mind I capture A time when I was less mature. At an age Where I could barely talk on stage. With time, I learned to rhyme. Cheesy, cheesy Pizza. It was just a cheesy, cheesy pizza running down the street Every other pizza laughed because of all her cheese No one realized that cheesy, cheesy pizza was the one to be eaten first.

Her Shifted World. A bright world which was her own, That is what she knew. Once it changed, She realized she did too. Toys and games,. Not a Kid Anymore. The Age of Innocence. No more little playgrounds to play on, I'm a big girl now, At the crack of dawn, I'm up and learning who, what, when, where, why, and how. No more silly jokes for me,. Fake to real I had no choice. It was stand still or project my voice. Innocent to vulnerable with decisions choose wisely or be judged.

Judged on everything so choose your heart don't hold a grudge. When, the autumn leaves lost their red, i spent more moments living inside my head, i learned to appreciate my bed, i knew i wasn't the same as i was. When, i noticed the injustice,. On the radio I hailed,. Growing Up Fast. Black Girl Magic. Chivalry is Not Dead. Choose to grow within the treacheous weather. Choose to bloom throughout the rain and grab a sweater. I cannot lie, it won't be easy. But choose to be the purple flower, not the puny seedling. I Am Not Yours to Keep. Is my soul not enough for you to keep. The Exact Surrender to a Teacher.

Two voices one song. Why can't you see? There was a time when I was so quiet The silence it came from the fear of a riot Occuring so fast and caused by my blast Of words I couldn't contain For if they remained Inside me the same. Drag Queen. My First Job. Bees are like kamikazes and. Smart and Beautiful. Young and free Happy as can be Drawing on walls And playing with dolls Grow a little older Things are colder Getting called names Can't play some games Because your ugly and stupid. Coming Home. Thank You, Teachers.

Every day is planned out to the minute Most of us have never had teachers that cared this much You have always taught us in spirit With a special, caring touch. Broken hearts. Condemned and Shunned, My mind can function no longer. Battered and bruised, Like life on the battle field It can fight no further.

Reasons why. We go to great measures, Just to ensure we have the right gestures. For in a world where we have to earn, Shows us how much we have to learn. The Angst of Depression. What is the meaning of this? Personal Growth. My life is full of expectations Some parts have altercations I love the loyal I hate the royal You rise to the occasion.

Grown Now. Perfect Perfection. Perfection is always a goal Crushing a person's soul Trying to be worth gold Slowly crumbling under the mold Souls gathering up building a cult Trying not to get a single insult. Grow i n g Up The day I turned 18, I announced my independence from my parents. They nod in agreement. The day I turned 18, I announced my independence from my parents. Cold Coffee. My best friend Courtney.. Am I lost? I must have been lost,Wondering if what should be its costHave I lost my mind? Cause baby, you're always filling me inside.

High School Do Over. Always planning the future, and missing out on the present. If these were the best days of my life, why does it feel like a bunch of knifes?

‎Songs Of Joy, Whispers Of Woe: Rhymes In Awe Of The Universe on Apple Books

I nev. Growing out of Insecurity. At the age of thirteen my whole life changed. I walked into the kitchen and on the table there was something strange. What I saw was a grenade lying there ready to grab. So, I walked over and held it in my hand. My Life part 1. Rainy Days. I've Moved On. I treasured you; you're all that I knew at one point in time. I gave you all of me and then some, down to my last dime.

Starting University My future filled with uncertainty High hopes for my engineering courses. Twilight Skies. Twilight Skiespassing by. Wish I could stop to say "hi,"but I travel with time. Not smiling at smiling me from the DMV. Not watching an R without all of the PG. Not even checking the squares of democracy.

Im not sorry mom. I'm sorry I have disappointed you, mom You think it was so sudden like a bomb It wasn't for me And that I can guarantee I have taken time to know for sure That I don't need a cure Love is not a choice. What I Have Become. Brought Up. Butterfly Effect. Head down in a book, Hiding my braces, Fearing they may look, Always so abrasive.

Things to Miss. Faded memories of moving trucks and tire swings, a driveway filled with old Chevy's and other broken things. Simple pleasures like going to Chuck E. Cheese, It only took words to put me at ease.