Tag: Germanic

Carved ducks

Sunday, 25 November, 2012 0 Comments

In Cockney rhyming slang, the expression “to duck and dive” means “to skive”. Example: “Not going into work today, mate. I’m duckin’ and divin’”. Which brings us nicely to Old English, where dūce, meaning “diver”, is a derivative of the verb dūcan, to bend down low as if to get under something, because of the […]

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Verbal Edge: Borges & Buckley

Friday, 23 March, 2012

There’s a plethora of fine words in Up in the Air by Walter Kirn. The main character, Ryan Bingham, expands his vocabulary with words from the Verbal Edge cassette tapes as he flies around the US. Lots of great words, too, in Buckley: The Right Word. The late William F. Buckley was a marvellous interviewer […]

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