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233 language/english/etymology/fossil.p




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This article is from the Puzzles FAQ, by Chris Cole chris@questrel.questrel.com and Matthew Daly mwdaly@pobox.com with numerous contributions by others.

233 language/english/etymology/fossil.p


What are some examples of idioms that include obsolete words?

language/english/etymology/fossil.s

These are called fossil expresions -- words that have dropped out of
common use but hang around in idioms. Not all of them are separate
words, some are part of other words or have prefixes or suffixes
attached. There are also words which have current meaning, but the
meaning in the idiom is unrelated to it.

idiom           	fossil          meaning of fossil
--------------------------------------------------
swashbuckler		buckler		small shield
newfangled		fangled		siezed
rank and file		file		column
to and fro		fro		from
gormless		gorm		attention
hem and haw		haw		make the sound "haw"
hem and haw		hem		make the sound "hem"
hue and cry		hue		outcry
kit and kaboodle	kaboodle	collection
out of kilter		kilter		order
kith and kin		kith		friends
let or hindrance	let		hindrance
footpad			pad		highwayman
pratfall		prat		buttocks
rank and file		rank		row
raring to go		raring		enthusiastic
ruthless		ruth		compassion
short shrift		shrift		confession
spick-and-span		span		chunk of wood
spick-and-span		spick		nail (spike)
swashbuckler		swash		bluster or stagger
bank teller		tell		to count

 

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