‘au reservoir’ (‘goodbye until we meet again’)

A humorous alteration of ‘au revoir’ after the noun ‘reservoir’, the exclamation ‘au reservoir’ is first recorded in Little Pedlington and the Pedlingtonians (London, 1839), by the English author John Poole (1786-1872).

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The literal meaning of ‘easel’ is ‘ass’ (beast of burden).

The noun ‘easel’ was borrowed from Dutch ‘ezel’; this sense of ‘ezel’ is a metaphorical extension of its literal meaning, ‘ass’, from the fact that, like a beast of burden, an easel is used to carry things. Likewise, the literal meaning of the synonymous French word ‘chevalet’ is ‘little horse’.

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folk-etymological origin of ‘squirrel’

Greek ‘skíouros’, ultimate origin of ‘squirrel’: folk-etymologically interpreted as meaning ‘shadow-tailed’ because when the animal sits erect, it raises its tail up against its back and over its head as if to shade itself

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the Christian-Latin origin of ‘Noël’

French—from the noun use of the Latin adjective ‘natalis’ (from Christian-Latin ‘natalis dies’, ‘day of birth’), denoting the festival of the nativity of Christ

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‘jot’ and ‘tittle’ used in collocation

‘every tiny detail’—from Matthew, 5:18—‘jot’, from ‘iōta’, the smallest letter of the Greek alphabet—‘tittle’, a small mark used in writing or printing

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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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