the origin of ‘spud’ (potato)

The noun ‘spud’, originally the name for the digging implement used to dig up potatoes, was applied to the latter in the 19th century.

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between the devil and the deep blue sea

early 17th century, with ‘the Dead Sea’ and ‘the deep sea’—originated in the image of a choice between damnation (‘the Devil’) and drowning (‘the sea’)

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meaning and origin of ‘the devil to pay’

refers to a person making a pact with the Devil: the heavy price has to be paid in the end—unrelated to the nautical phrase ‘the devil to pay and no pitch hot’

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origin of ‘paraphernalia’

from Medieval Latin ‘paraphernalia’, short for ‘paraphernalia bona’, ‘married woman’s property’, i.e. the goods which a bride brings over and above her dowry

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an oxymoronic word: ‘oxymoron’

The word ‘oxymoron’ has the property it denotes: it is from Greek ‘oxús’, meaning ‘sharp’, ‘acute’, and ‘mōrόs’, meaning ‘dull’, ‘stupid’.

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meaning and origin of ‘pogue’

Via Irish ‘póg’, Irish-English ‘pogue’ (a kiss) is from ecclesiastical Latin ‘pacem’ (kiss of peace)—the name of the band is from ‘pogue mahone’ (kiss my arse).

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