the origin of the word ‘bully’?

noun (late 17th cent.), perhaps from ‘bull’ (= bovine)—possibly distinct from ‘bully’ (mid-16th cent.), ‘darling’, probably from Middle Dutch ‘boele’, ‘lover’

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the mysterious origin of ‘tace is Latin for candle’

  The Excommunication of Robert the Pious (1875), by the French artist Jean-Paul Laurens (1838-1921)—image: Wikimedia Commons The officiants have just excommunicated Robert by bell, book, and candle [note 1], and left the quenched candle behind. Robert II (972-1031), known as the Pious, the son of Hugues Capet, was excommunicated for incest by Pope Gregory V […]

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meaning and origin of ‘Shock-headed Peter’

  In The English Struwwelpeter and the Birth of International Copyright (The Library, journal of the Bibliographical Society, 2013), Jane Brown and Gregory Jones explain that the ancient free city of Frankfurt am Main saw in 1845 the first appearance of Dr Heinrich Hoffmann¹’s Lustige Geschichten und drollige Bilder², a German children’s Christmas picture book. […]

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