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Pair of stairs
Posted: 08 September 2007 07:59 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 16 ]
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Upmarket mail-order furniture firms in the UK are reviving the ‘pair of library steps’—as described, a vertical steadying rod attached to a box-step which can unfold into a double step. Handy for trendy lofts with a high wall of shelves..

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Posted: 08 September 2007 08:19 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 17 ]
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I remember back around 1958, while I was stationed in England, my ex-mother-in-law used this term in directing me to the family wc (toilet).  She said “go out thru the kitchen an up a pair of stairs”, I told her that we in the US would say “a couple of steps”. :lol:

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Posted: 10 September 2007 07:32 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 18 ]
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Dr. Techie - 04 September 2007 03:23 PM

“A scissors” is quite common in the US.

Is it? thats definitely come to you from the Irish then I’ve never heard it in England. As for bollocks it occurred to me when reading this thread that ‘the bollocks’ is a phrase of high praise in the UK and commonly heard, whereas ‘a bollocks’ (much rarer) is an insult, oh what a difference an article makes!

I’ve very rarely heard ‘a pair of steps’ over here and never ‘a pair of stairs’

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Posted: 10 September 2007 09:55 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 19 ]
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From The Art Of Organ-Building by George Ashdown 1965:

Rimbault* says “… The truth is, that ‘a pair of Organs’ simply meant an Organ with more pipes than one ... Johnson, Heywood, and other of the older poets, always use the term pair in the sense of an aggregate, and as synonymous with set; thus we have ‘a pair of chessmen,’ ‘a pair of beads,’ a pair of cards,’ ‘a pair of Organs,’ &c.  When speaking of a flight of stairs, we often say a pair of stairs.  Therefore this ancient form of expression, although obsolete in most cases, is still in use at the present day.”

*Edward Francis Rimbault, who wrote about the organ in the 19th century.

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Posted: 11 September 2007 07:37 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 20 ]
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Thanks Eliza, and good to see you posting again.

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Posted: 13 September 2007 08:49 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 21 ]
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Regarding anthimeria, my source was a footnote in a book and I was wrong to assign “a nice pair’ as an example - I was misguidedly trying to relate it to the ‘pair’ theme.
I have come up with a few examples that might qualify, however: ne’er-do-well; peanut brittle; the poor; the lame and the halt; to impact; to trend; to source; to be really very; etc.
There must be hundreds.

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Posted: 13 September 2007 02:17 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 22 ]
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Thank you, happydog.  Too tired to go through that list of anthimeria(e/s?), but they don’t all sound as such to me.

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Posted: 13 September 2007 02:47 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 23 ]
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Apart from “to be really very”, regarding which I’m not clear on the meaning or usage that venomousbede is referring to, I would say that the items in that list were probably examples of anthimera when they were coined, but are no longer.  That is to say, the usage of those words as those parts of speech is well established (for intervals ranging from decades to centuries).

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Posted: 14 September 2007 06:01 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 24 ]
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It was a nice try. “Really very” is from the movie Heathers

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Posted: 14 September 2007 08:36 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 25 ]
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the items in that list were probably examples of anthimera when they were coined, but are no longer. 

It can happen very quickly, can’t it?  “cc me with that message”.  “This arm should be x-rayed immediately”

I never heard of anthimeria before today (I was home from school with the sniffles, on the day we did rhetoric).  Very interesting, but..."but me no buts, lionello. you talk too much”.

EDIT: Hello, papaharold. Welcome to wordorigins.org. From all of us, not just from me: sometimes some of us get carried away with the constant rushing stream of words (sometimes it’s like a perpetually flushing wc/toilet ;-), and don’t notice a shy newcomer right away.

[ Edited: 14 September 2007 08:52 AM by lionello ]
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Posted: 14 September 2007 11:11 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 26 ]
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What the devil is this alleged word “anthimeria,” anyway?  It’s not in any dictionary, and a website I found by googling it gives this stupid derivation:

from Gk. anti- “instead of” and mereia “a part”

Do you see an -h- in there?  I don’t either.  If you’re going to combine anti- and mereia, what you’ll get is “antimereia” or (if you want to Latinize it) “antimeria.” And what’s the point?  I’m not about to go trawling through the long, long lists of rhetorical terminology, but there’s a category for everything, and I’m sure there’s one that would cover this.  And if there’s not, why go to the trouble of creating a fake-classical one that anybody with any classical education will sneer at?  If a noun is made of a verb, we have a much more easily understood neologism, “verbing,” hallowed by the immortal Calvin and Hobbes.  I reject this preposterous balderdash!

/grumpy Hellenist

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Posted: 14 September 2007 11:41 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 27 ]
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My feelings about the spelling were much the same, but “anthimeria” clearly outGoogles “antimeria” by about ~9000:600 (even more disproportionately if you restrict the search to English).  I think it’s useful to have a term for this that’s more general than “verbing”. “Antimeria” does occur (in a citation, not as a headword) in the OED, but the -h-, intrusive or not, seems to have carried the day. As somebody around here is given to pointing out, you don’t have to speak foreign languages to speak English.

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Posted: 14 September 2007 11:50 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 28 ]
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As somebody around here is given to pointing out, you don’t have to speak foreign languages to speak English.

Who? Who? Lemme at ‘im!

...Oh, all right, I guess if you want to be all sensible about it.  What can I say?  I have a headache.  If the OED admits it, so will I.

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Posted: 14 September 2007 12:29 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 29 ]
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Hmm.  The OED has an entry for the prefix anth-, which says “Gr. ἀνθ’, comb. form of ἀντί (see ANTI-) bef. an aspirate. Often, in mod. scientific words, written analytically anti-, as in anthelix, anti-helix; anthypnotic, anti-hypnotic.” But I don’t see where the supposed aspirate would come in with “-meria”.

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Posted: 14 September 2007 03:15 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 30 ]
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Anthimeria is in wwftd and Luciferous Logolepsy.  I could ask Michael of wwftd fame for an etymology.  Perhaps it’s anth and himereia.

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