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How did “not worth a tinker’s damn” originate?

April 1, 2017 | Author: | Posted in Language

There is a difference of opinion as to whether the last word in this phrase was originally dam or damn. A tinker’s dam, according to Web­ster’s International dictionary, is a wall of soft mud, clay, dough or the like, raised around a spot that a plumber wishes to cover with solder. The material of the …

What distinguishes a blond from a brunet?

March 2, 2017 | Author: | Posted in Human Physiology

Blond and brunet are relative terms. It is impossible to draw a sharp distinction between them. Many persons have both blond and brunet characteristics. Generally in such a classification the complexion of the skin and the color of the hair and the eyes are taken into consideration. A blond is a person with light or …

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How do shears and scissors differ?

February 21, 2017 | Author: | Posted in General Knowledge

In the United States shears and scissors are often used interchangeably. As a rule, however, shears is employed when the implement is large and scissors when it is small. All such instruments having a total length of six inches or less are called scissors in the hardware trade; those exceeding six inches in length are …

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Which is correct, “these” or “this” molasses?

February 20, 2017 | Author: | Posted in Language

Molasses is derived through Spanish from Latin mellaceus, “honey-like.” Since the singular and plural forms are spelled the same, the word is often construed as a plural when it should be construed as a singular. Molasses are, these molasses and those molasses are common expressions, especially in the South and West. They are incorrect except …

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What is the plural of “ski”?

February 6, 2017 | Author: | Posted in Language

The plural of ski is either ski or skis. Frequently the plural is erroneously written skiis, owing no doubt to the fact that the double i occurs in skiing, the present participial form. Ski, also spelled skee in English, is of Scandinavian origin. Americans almost universally pronounce the word skee, but the British generally follow …

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