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A Lackadaisy Air

From the New-York Mirror of February 24, 1883:
“. . . a new and valuable addition has been made to the slang vocabulary. … We refer to the term “Dood.” For a correct definition of the expression the anxious inquirer has only to turn to the tight-trousered, brief-coated, eye-glassed, fancy-vested, sharp-toes shod, vapid youth who abounds in the Metropolis at present. … The Dood is oftenest seen in the lobbies of our theatres on first-nights. He puffs cigarettes or sucks his hammered-silver tipped cane in the entr actes, and passes remarks of a not particularly intellectual character on the appearance and dresses of the actresses. His greatest pleasure lies in taking a favorite actress or singer to supper at Delmonico’s or the Hotel Brunswick—places he briefly calls ‘Dels’ and the ‘Bruns’—where he will spend his papa’s pelf with a lavish hand. … ”
[more inside]
posted by mannequito on Oct 26, 2013 - 40 comments

M is for Myriapod

Mysteries of Vernacular is a series of delightful papercraft animations about etymology, by filmmaker Jessica Oreck. Four of a projected 26 videos, one for each letter of the alphabet, have been completed so far: Assassin, Hearse, Pants, and Clue. (via)
posted by Horace Rumpole on Sep 14, 2012 - 5 comments

debt - late 13c., dette, from O.Fr. dete

With (O.E.) the (O.E.) push (O.Fr.) of a button (Fr.), get (O.Norse) and (O.E.) visualize (L.) the etymology (O.Fr.) of a piece (O.Fr.) of text (O.Fr.). Visualizing English Word Origins across genres of text.
posted by stroke_count on Apr 26, 2012 - 13 comments

Words of the last 100 years

Dave Wilton of wordorigins.org (prev) has been compiling etymological snapshots for each year of the past 100 years, based on words that first appeared in English that year. As of now, he is up to 1941. The 1911 entry gives a good overview of his goals and parameters. (via) [more inside]
posted by kmz on Nov 10, 2011 - 9 comments

Wilton's Word and Phrase Origins

Wilton's Word and Phrase Origins is a well researched etymology site that puts out a fine newsletter in .pdf form, has a pretty consistently interesting discussion group, and is sometimes referenced by MeFites.
posted by sklero on Sep 27, 2002 - 5 comments

The History of the Boycott.

The History of the Boycott. The very first boycott took place as a part of the resistance in colonial Ireland, against the eponymous Capt. C.C. Boycott, beginning a long line in the use of personal ethics by aware 'actors' to make economic choices in pursuance of social and/or political ends. As such, this type of action marries the libertarian attitudes of personal responsibility and Adam Smith's 'invisible hand', with the quasi-socialist collective action and 'power to the people'. [There have been a number of MeFi threads on specific boycotts: however none have dealt with the concept as a whole.] What's your favourite boycott? (",) More inside>>>
posted by dash_slot- on Jul 29, 2002 - 6 comments

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