I was thinking of this because some words sound like they are of easily identifiable foreign origin, but if you look them up, they are something completely different.
When I looked up "cahoots" I was very surprised at the explanations, because I had already decided that it must be some sort of "New Amsterdam" word of Dutch origin that had originated in New York.
At the moment, I am wondering about "goo" -- not having looked it up yet. My first thought is of some sort of onomatopoeia, based on the idea of saying "Eww!" when you see goo. But I'm sure that's not it.
Post by bixaorellana on Sept 23, 2009 21:35:26 GMT
How about hoosegow? With my vast knowledge of pretty much everything, I can tell you that it's simply a sloppy pronunciation* of the Spanish word "juzgado", meaning court (from the verb juzgar, to judge). You can imagine in the American old West, it was a short hop from wherever court was held to the jailhouse or hoosegow.
*many accents in Spanish drop the d in words ending in -ado, rendering that ending as ow instead of ahdoh.
Okay, gruel = goo ......... could be, but it's disgraceful that the dictionary simply makes a guess and lets it go at that. The guess is also undermined by another dictionary saying it's an Americanism from @1905--1915. Why would an Americanism reference an obscure Royal Navy food term?
Why are there two ue's in "queue" and what is the origin of that word, which pretty much isn't used in the states, although American DJs do "cue up" a record album. (Or am I just imagining the spelling with a "c")
In the great tradition of this thread, which allows one to make a fool of oneself before looking something up, I say that "cue" is a completely different word from "queue", apart from the obvious spelling difference. For instance, an actor can be told, "that's your cue", or I use the salad fork at the dinner party because "I took my cue from you".
Thus, any song in a sequence would be in a queue, not a cue, correct? Or is my face covered in egg, and not just because I didn't get bread while in the queue for the breakfast buffet?
cue n. 1. A signal, such as a word or action, used to prompt another event in a performance, such as an actor's speech or entrance, a change in lighting, or a sound effect. 2. a. A reminder or prompting. b. A hint or suggestion.
3. Music a. An extract from the music for another part printed, usually in smaller notes, within a performer's part as a signal to enter after a long rest. b. A gesture by a conductor signaling the entrance of a performer or part.
4. Psychology A stimulus, either consciously or unconsciously perceived, that elicits or signals a type of behavior. 5. Archaic One's assigned role or function. 6. Archaic A mood; a disposition.
tr.v. cued, cu·ing, cues 1. To give a cue to; signal or prompt. 2. To insert into the sequence of a performance: cued the lights for the monologue scene. 3. To position (an audio or video recording) in readiness for playing: cue up a record on the turntable.
It is all a mystery to me; how about thee to use words that you see and then pronounce them differently !!!!!
Last Edit: Jan 14, 2010 20:38:00 GMT by traveler63
When you're chewing on life's gristle[br]Don't grumble, give a whistle[br]And this'll help things turn out for the best...[br]And...always look on the bright side of life...[br]Always look on the light side of life.[br]Monty Python's Life of Brian[br]
It's the same in Spanish -- "cola" or tail, is the word for queue.
Now that I've looked at Traveler63's lovely thread on the châteaux of the Loire Valley, and her explanation of Nonce, I am wondering if it has any relationship to the phrase "for the nonce", meaning "for the time being". I don't want to look it up until we've guessed (or someone actually knows . Does it have anything to do with the hours as counted by ancient monasteries -- terce, etc. (all I can remember). I think one of the hours is called nonce.
I confess that I just looked up "boondoggle" so I know all about it now, but it was a mystery until that moment. But I am very satisfied to know that what I suspected was true -- the etymology is bogus!
I wondered about "taxi" today, as in cab. Originally it was "taximeter cab" meaning there was a device that automatically figured the tax or charge for the ride. (BTW, bing.com has a lovely photo of Buddha in the snow today)