July 15th, 2013

IH - space

Saturday & Sunday Word: Cocktail & Bolide

What do these two words have in common?
Neither have a clear definition.

Albeit for slightly different reasons...

cock·tail [ˈkäk-ˌtāl\]:
origin: New Orleans (1795), Antoine Amédée Peychaud, apothecary (and famed inventor of "Peychaud bitters") held Masonic social gatherings at his pharmacy, where he mixed brandy toddies with his own bitters and served them in an egg-cup. On this theory, the drink took the name of the cup. [source]

1. a style of mixed drink of liquor, water, sugar and bitters.
2. an appetizer made by combining pieces of food, such as fruit or seafood.
ex: fruit cocktail or shrimp cocktail.
3. a horse with a docked tail.

Used to describe items or garments considered semi-formal
ex: cocktail dress and a cocktail glass.


bo·lide [ˈbəʊlaɪd -lɪd]:
origin: (1850–55) French > Greek bolid- (singular of bolís) missile

Also referred to as a "fire ball", it's part of the meteor family with no set definition of what can be classified as one. Basically, an asteroid that fallen into the atmosphere and whose burn off creates a very bright streak (sometimes exploding) across the sky for a prolonged period of time (versus a second or milliseconds).

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Monday word: barrow, and its many meanings

barrow (br), noun
1.  A frame with two short handles at each end, used for carrying a load (wheel-less, and carried between two people); a wheelbarrow; a pushcart.
2.  A mound of earth or stones over a grave, a tumulus; a mound or hill.
3.  A castrated male pig.

All three uses of the word have part of their origin in Old English:
  -- Definition 1 originated in the 1300s and comes from bearwe (to bear, to carry), same as the verb 'to bear'.
  -- Definition 2 comes from Old English beorge (mountain, hill, mound); the definition of 'mound' or 'hill' (without a grave) is obsolete except in place names.
  -- Definition 3 comes from Old English bearge (which has something to do with castration or cutting); this use of the word originated before 1000.
There are many other less common (or archaic) uses of the word:
  -- barrow or barrow-coat:  a long flannel garment for infants, wrapped around the body under the arms and turned up and pinned about the feet; a pinning blanket.
  -- A burrow or warren.
  -- (salt works) A wicker case in which salt is put to drain.
  -- barrow or skate-barrow:  the egg-case of a skate or ray.
  -- (mining) A heap of rubbish or refuse.