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Sherlock Holmes and English
Posted: 05 November 2012 12:52 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 91 ]
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Or does it equate more with ‘a great noise’ without the frightening overtone?

Yes, for me.

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Posted: 05 November 2012 03:50 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 92 ]
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OED compares tremendous, which has followed a similar path. The initial sense was “such as to excite trembling, or awe; awful; ‘dreadful; horrible; astonishingly terrible’ (Johnson)”

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Posted: 05 November 2012 03:54 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 93 ]
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Wow, I had never made the connections between tremendous and tremens, tremor.

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Posted: 05 November 2012 07:12 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 94 ]
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Does no-one here use the expression ‘a terrific din’ for a frightening noise? Does no-one here use the expression ‘a terrific din’ for a frightening noise?

I don’t

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Posted: 06 November 2012 06:14 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 95 ]
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Dr. Techie - 05 November 2012 03:54 PM

Wow, I had never made the connections between tremendous and tremens, tremor.

I was surprised by this when reading an English translation of the Faure Requiem some years ago. The line die illa tremenda was rendered as frightful day, and sent me running to Merriam-Webster.

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Posted: 06 November 2012 12:32 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 96 ]
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Of course - delirium tremens—the shakes! I’d never noticed the connection either. There seems always something new to be learned at wordorigins.org.  Thank you, colleagues....

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Posted: 16 November 2012 06:26 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 97 ]
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The Adventure of the Three Garridebs

“Ah, it is not a part of your profession to carry about a portable Newgate Calendar in your memory.”

A vital clue in this story is the perp’s use of the spelling “plow” rather than “plough”, the latter being much more common in Britain.

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Posted: 16 November 2012 07:47 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 98 ]
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From the OED:

Newgate Calendar n. now hist. (originally) a list of those admitted to Newgate prison in the preceding month; (later) any of a series of publications containing biographical information about those detained in Newgate, or (in some cases) stories of crimes associated with the prison.

Dates to the late seventeenth century. I believe that by Holmes’s time it would have been a historical reference, but I’m not sure when publications with this name ceased.

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Posted: 16 November 2012 01:45 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 99 ]
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...The Newgate Calendar was a general title given to a number of popular publications of the late 18th century.

The books began as compilations of the broadsheets sold by peddlers at fairs and public executions. These broadsheets fed public interest in the crimes, trials and punishments of notorious criminals.

The original issue was published in 1773 and reported on crimes from 1700 to the date of publication.

The full title of this edition of the Calendar is

The Newgate Calendar; comprising interesting memoirs of the most notorious characters who have been convicted of outrages on the laws of England since the commencement of the eighteenth century; with anecdotes and last exclamations of sufferers .

It was published in four volumes between 1824 and 1826 by attorneys-at-law Andrew Knapp and William Baldwin....

Excerpt from: http://www.bl.uk

See it here.

[ Edited: 16 November 2012 01:55 PM by sobiest ]
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Posted: 16 November 2012 08:34 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 100 ]
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inculpate

What a lovely word. I’m sorry not to have encountered it earlier.

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Posted: 17 November 2012 05:55 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 101 ]
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Where did you encounter it now?

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Posted: 17 November 2012 07:14 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 102 ]
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In The Problem of Thor Bridge.

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Posted: 17 November 2012 10:32 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 103 ]
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From [I]A Study In Scarlet:

“I should have fallen into the hands of the murderous Ghazis had it not been for the devotion and courage shown by Murray”
Ghazis = Muslim fighters.

“his fragile philosophical instruments.”

Watson is referring to Holmes’s scientific apparatus.

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Posted: 17 November 2012 10:49 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 104 ]
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"It beats anything I have seen, and I am no chicken.”

Lestrade means that he is not a newcomer, not a rookie. Here, chicken refers specifically to the juvenile fowl, whereas today it is used to refer very generally to that species.

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Posted: 18 November 2012 12:17 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 105 ]
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Etymonline offers this for “chicken”:

chicken (n.)

O.E. cicen “young fowl,” which in M.E. came to mean “young chicken,” then any chicken, from W.Gmc. *kiukinam (cf. M.Du. kiekijen, Du. kieken, O.N. kjuklingr, Swed. kyckling, Ger. Küken “chicken"), from root *keuk- (echoic of the bird’s sound and possibly also the root of cock (n.1)) + dim. suffixes....

and, for “spring chicken” [under the entry for “spring (n.1)”]:

...Spring chicken “small roasting chicken” (usually 11 to 14 weeks) is recorded from 1780; transferred sense of “young person” first recorded 1906....

.

Edited to add:


..."We find the expression ‘now past a chicken,’ meaning ‘no longer young,’ recorded as early as 1711 by Steele in ‘The Spectator’: ‘You ought to consider you are now past a chicken; this Humour, which was well enough in a Girl, is insufferable in one of your Motherly Character.’ ‘No spring chicken,’ an exaggeration of the phrase, is first recorded in America in 1906.” From “Encyclopedia of Word and Phrase Origins” by Robert Hendrickson (Facts on File, New York, 1997)....

From phrases.uk.org

[ Edited: 18 November 2012 01:28 AM by sobiest ]
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