Nightmare – Suffocating goblins

Nightmare – A frightening or unpleasant dream. Ever have that dream where you’re being suffocated? It’s a common one, and it actually gave us the term nightmare. A ‘mare’ was another term for a ‘goblin’, particularly one who spent their time suffocating sleepers. The ‘mare’ part comes from the Proto-Germanic word ‘maron’ and originally from…

Willy Nilly – I Will, I Nill.

Willy-Nilly – Without direction or planning; haphazardly. ‘Willy Nilly’ – sounds like nonsense – but it’s actually a contraction of ‘Will I, Nill I’, ‘nill’ here is used with an early meaning – ‘to want to avoid something’, the phrase means ‘I will it, I will it not to happen’ and was meant to suggest uncertainty…

Flea Market – Containing actual fleas

Flea market – A street market selling second-hand goods. The term ‘Flea market comes from the French ‘marché aux puces’, a name originally given to a market in Paris which specialized in shabby second-hand goods of the kind that might contain fleas. The earliest English use that the 20-volume Oxford English Dictionary has found dates from…