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Gaudy
Posted: 16 April 2007 05:36 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 16 ]
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Excellent example! I was racking my brains yesterday and couldn’t come up with one, completely forgot this one.

burke, v. [f. Burke, the name of a notorious criminal executed at Edinburgh in 1829, for smothering many persons in order to sell their bodies for dissection.]

1. trans. To murder, in the same manner or for the same purpose as Burke did; to kill secretly by suffocation or strangulation, or for the purpose of selling the victim’s body for dissection.

It’s fascinating that the first cite for it is at the execution of Burke and Hare themselves.

1829 Times 2 Feb. 3/5 As soon as the executioner proceeded to his duty, the cries of ‘Burke him, Burke him{em}give him no rope’..were vociferated..‘Burke Hare too!’

Note too that the capitalisation persists in all the cites for this sense and it is only in the second figurative sense that the small initial letter is introduced.

2. fig. To smother, ‘hush up’, suppress quietly. Also, to evade, to shirk, to avoid.

Here are the two most recent cites in OED (which is also the source for the above.)

1931 Economist 4 July 25/1 The problem, as it concerns the investor, of the holding company and its accounts is one which it is not wise to burke. 1953 R. GRAVES Poems 4 Socrates and Plato burked the issue.

OED doesn’t mark it as obsolete in either sense, although I rarely hear it now (in fact I have never seen the figurative sense before.)

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Posted: 19 April 2007 04:14 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 17 ]
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’Stakhanovite’ (I apologise, no idea how to spell it) worker from the old Soviet Union

Edit: Aha! found him Aleksei Grigorovich Stakhanov - Soviet miner who died in 1977, his output (far exceeding quota) was publicised in 1935 by the Soviet authorities as a tireless worker.

[ Edited: 19 April 2007 04:17 AM by flynn999 ]
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Posted: 19 April 2007 07:31 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 18 ]
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Up the close and doon the stair,
But and ben wi’ Burke and Hare.
Burke’s the butcher, Hare’s the thief,
And Knox the boy that buys the beef.

(From memory, so may not be canonical text.)

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Posted: 19 April 2007 09:15 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 19 ]
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flynn999 - 19 April 2007 04:14 AM

‘Stakhanovite’ ... Aha! found him Aleksei Grigorovich Stakhanov - Soviet miner who died in 1977, his output (far exceeding quota) was publicised in 1935 by the Soviet authorities as a tireless worker.

That, of course, brings to mind “Luddite.”

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Posted: 19 April 2007 08:10 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 20 ]
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Some great responses, to be sure; I wasn’t thinking of the suffixed type of term (ites, ists, etc.), but interesting nonetheless. 

I was really resisting the urge to go with this one, but now that this thread is winding down, what the heck?

Roger. 

My question here would be: who was the unfortunate schmuck who gave us this one in the first place?  Perhaps his colleagues Dick and John might have the answer.

Q.  Who has no arms and no legs and floats around the harbour?
A.  Bob.

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Fregt mikh bekheyrem!
~ Shmegege

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Posted: 19 April 2007 11:33 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 21 ]
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Jack, would you give me a hand please and lift the front end of that car?

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