Cutting corners – Cruel sport

‘Cutting corners’ is a term used to refer to doing something in the easiest, cheapest or quickest way, often by ignoring rules or leaving something out Cutting corners can be traced back to hunting in the 1850’s; the earliest known reference is from 1852 in Knightley William Horlock’s ‘Letters on the Management of Hounds’: “About…

Cedar – Magical trees

Cedar – Type of conifer. The word ‘Cedar’ comes from the Latin word ‘cedrus’ which meant ‘immortality’, the Roman’s believing that the tree had supernatural powers, a belief they got from the Egyptians. ‘cedrus’, comes from a Greek word ‘kedros’, no magic involved, they just meant the tree.

Pornography – Prostitutes’ writings

Pornography; printed or visual material containing the sexual content. Pornography, it’s a controversial subject, but where does it come from? Well, the word anyway. Pornography is word which can be traced back to 1843 in the English language, where it referred, specifically to ‘sexually obscene paintings’, it came from the Greek word ‘pornographos’, which combined…

Person – Mask or character

Person: A human The word person came to the English language from the French word ‘persone’. This was a derivation of the word ‘persona’ from late Latin, and which had two meanings really, it meant ‘a human’ but also meant ‘a character’ and in fact, in earlier Latin, the word meant ‘mask’ or ‘part in a…

Quack – Noisy duck doctors

Quack – As slang for poor medical practitioners or those claiming to be medical practitioners who are not. The term comes from an old Dutch word ‘quacksalver’ meaning ‘someone who boasts by virtue of his salves’ (salves being ointments for the skin). The ‘Quack’ part is a reference to the same quack we use today…

Polar – Heavenly

Polar, directly opposite to. Polar is a mid 16th Century word which is a derivative of the Latin word ‘Polaris’ (like the star), which meant ‘heavenly’. Its first recorded use in the sense of ‘opposite’ was in 1832 but it has been applied to the bears since the 1700s.