origin of ‘skinflint’

attested 1699—from the hyperbolical phrase ‘to skin a flint’ (1656)—cf. ‘to skin a flea for its hide and tallow’ and French ‘tondre un œuf’ (‘to shave an egg’)

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Eating in the Romance languages

In Latin, short words having complicated irregularities in their forms gave way to simpler words with regular patterns and longer phonetic individualities.

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the colonial origin of ‘kidnap’

original meaning of ‘kidnap’, late 17th century—to steal or carry off children or others in order to provide servants or labourers for the American plantations

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