- Kill a chicken to scare the monkeys: Use someone as an example to warn others.
- Either the fish dies or the net breaks: A life or death struggle; there are only two choices/outcomes.
There appear to be a number of theories as to why the slang for the vagina (or perhaps more precisely, the vulva) is pussy. The most common derivation that I see in dictionaries and other resources is that it can be traced back to the Old Norse puss meaning "pouch" or "pocket". In that sense, it is not unlike the etymology of vagina which itself comes from the Latin vagina meaning "sheath" or "scabbard".
I've noticed a few people using the idiomatic phrase "prime of place" to denote the primacy of position in a group of things. For example, "My framed moustache-of-the-year certificate is given prime of place on the wall". While the idiom certainly appears to make sense, fits in quite well, and even sounds familiar, it is not really standard usage.
Somebody asked me earlier today why a penis is also called a cock. I assumed that it had something to do with the rooster (the male chicken) being called a cock. While this is true, there's a little bit more to tell. Here's a brief investigation into the matter.
According to Etymonline:
Slang sense of "penis" is attested since 1610s (but cf. pillicock "penis," from c.1300);
I've long heard Brits scoffing at the use of the word buffalo for the the American Buffalo when it is actually a species of Bison. Here's a brief investigation into the matter.
Firstly, the entry from the American Heritage Dictionary has a remarkably informative history of the word, buffalo:
I was trying to describe the lyrics of a song today and stumbled when I reached a section with a bunch of "la la la" bits. I suppose I could have well just termed them as la-la-la bits, but seeing as to how I apparently have all the time in the world (not my words), I decided to see if there was something a bit more definitive that I could use. A wittle googling later, I chanced upon the answer.
Did Edison say "Wasted? Not at all. I now know 'X' substances that will not work as a filament for my lamp"?
I'm sure that most of y'all have come across a version of the following anecdote:
Here are a list of sites that help when it comes to looking up, learning, or researching the English language.
I was wondering earlier why the predominant color of Islam is green. This led me to wondering why it's also associated with emotions like envy and jealousy. Here are a few of the fruits of my dig deep down into the "emerald mine of knowledge" that is the Internet.
From Shakespeare's The Merchant of Venice: