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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‘shiver my timbers’

British, 18th century—a mock oath attributed to sailors, meaning ‘may my ship’s beams be broken into pieces’—early variants used by Tobias Smollett

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meanings and origin of ‘kingdom come’

‘the next world’, hence also ‘death’, ‘utter destruction’—1752—a loose, originally slangy, use of the petition ‘Thy kingdom come’ in the ‘Lord’s Prayer’

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origin of ‘to walk one’s chalks’

to go off—19th cent.—from a procedure consisting in making a person walk on a straight line drawn with chalk in order to establish whether they are inebriated

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origin of ‘once in a blue moon’

‘Once in a blue moon’ is a development from ‘once in a moon’, meaning ‘once a month’, hence ‘occasionally’—‘blue’ is merely a meaningless fanciful intensive.

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to have a bee in one’s bonnet

This phrase is a transformation of ‘one’s head full of bees’, meaning scatter-brained, unable to think straight, as if bees are buzzing around in one’s head.

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