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Overview

bare life

Italian philosopher Giorgio Agamben's concept for life that has been exposed to what he terms the structure of exception that constitutes contemporary biopower. The term originates in ...

Form of Address

Form of Address   Quick reference

The Oxford Companion to the English Language (2 ed.)

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2018
Subject:
Language reference, History of English, Linguistics
Length:
1,919 words

...be used at all; forms of address tend instead to be terms of endearment ( baby, darling, honey ) or expressions of derision ( dickhead, idiot, stupid ), usually hostile and dismissive, but sometimes affectionate. At the impersonal end, such forms of address as sir and titles (bare or with surname) may be used: Excuse me, sir/Sir ; Doctor ( Kildare ), do you have a moment, please? ; Follow your orders, Captain ( Bligh ). All the forms of address discussed below occur at various points on this continuum. Names and titles With the loss of its th -forms...

know

know   Quick reference

Oxford Dictionary of English Idioms (3 ed.)

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2010

...bread is buttered: see bread . know someone in the biblical sense have sex with someone. informal, humorous Know in this sense is an old use which is particularly associated with language in the Bible, e.g. Genesis 4:1: And Adam knew Eve his wife; and she conceived, and bare Cain'. know someone or something inside out: see inside out . know something like the back of your hand: see back . know the ropes be thoroughly acquainted with the way in which something is done. informal In its literal sense, this expression goes back to the days of...

four

four   Quick reference

The Oxford Dictionary of Phrase and Fable (2 ed.)

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2006

...from the 1920s. four noble truths the four central beliefs containing the essence of Buddhist teaching; they are that human life is characterized by frustration and suffering, that the cause of this is desire and greed, that desire must therefore be got rid of, and that following the eightfold path is the way to achieve this. see also four-leaved clover , First Four Ships at first , there is more to marriage than four bare legs in a bed , the four winds at wind...

Yeats, W[illiam] B[utler]

Yeats, W[illiam] B[utler] (1865–1939)   Reference library

Brewer's Dictionary of Irish Phrase & Fable

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2011

...resting-place, as anticipated in his epitaph in Last Poems ( 1939 ), by which time he was celebrated even by late detractors as a great Irishman and a towering literary figure: Under bare Ben Bulben's head In Drumcliff churchyard Yeats is laid … No marble, no conventional phrase, On limestone quarried near the spot By his command these words are cut: Cast a cold eye On life, on death. Horseman, pass...

veil

veil   Quick reference

The Oxford Dictionary of Word Origins (2 ed.)

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2010
Subject:
Language reference, History of English
Length:
156 words

...cloth separating the innermost sanctuary from the rest of the Jewish Temple in Jerusalem. The idea soon developed of this cloth representing a barrier between this life and the unknown state of existence after death, giving rise to the current phrase. To draw a veil over something dates from the early 18th century, and is the opposite of reveal [LME] which comes from Latin revelare ‘lay bare’ in the sense of ‘lifting the...

know

know   Quick reference

The Oxford Dictionary of Word Origins (2 ed.)

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2010
Subject:
Language reference, History of English
Length:
205 words

...in the book of Genesis: ‘And Adam knew Eve his wife; and she conceived, and bare Cain.’ To know the ropes is to be thoroughly acquainted with the way in which something is done. The phrase comes from the days of sailing ships, when skill in handling ropes was essential for any sailor—an alternative is know their onions . The ancients valued self-knowledge as the way to wisdom—inscribed on the Greek temple of Apollo at Delphi were the words know thyself . The line ‘ It's life, Jim, but not as we know it ’ is the mainstay of anyone trying to do an...

Quietus

Quietus   Reference library

Brewer's Dictionary of Phrase & Fable (19 ed.)

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2013

... scutage or knight’s fee. Subsequently the term was applied to the acquittance that a sheriff receives on settling his account at the exchequer , and, later still, to any discharge, as of an account, or even of life itself. For who would bear the whips and scorns of time, Th’oppressor’s wrong … When he himself might his quietus make With a bare...

Rub

Rub   Reference library

Brewer's Dictionary of Phrase & Fable (19 ed.)

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2013

...‘the rub of the green’. Rub one’s hands, To To feel or express satisfaction, glee, keen anticipation or the like. Rub salt into someone’s wounds, To To make a person’s pain or shame even worse. The allusion is to the old sailing days, when errant sailors were flogged on the bare back and afterwards had salt rubbed in their wounds. This was to help heal the lacerations, but it also made them much more painful. Rub shoulders with someone, To To mix in their company. Rub someone’s nose in it, To To remind someone forcefully or graphically of what they have done...

Tree

Tree   Reference library

Brewer's Dictionary of Phrase & Fable (19 ed.)

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2013

...has a similar section. There are yet older trees still in full life in the forests of America. In particular the bristlecone pine ( pinus longaeva ) is very long-lived, with one example felled in 1964 thought to be 5,000 years old, while another, still living, is thought to be 4,700 years old. The cross on which Christ was crucified is frequently spoken of in hymns and poetry as ‘the tree’. See Acts 5:30 : ‘Jesus, whom ye slew and hanged on a tree’; and 1 Peter 2:24 : ‘Who his own self bare our sins in his own body on the tree’. The gallows is also...

Melrose

Melrose   Reference library

Brewer's Dictionary of Irish Phrase & Fable

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2011

.... An abbey in the Scottish Borders. The original abbey (subsequently known as Old Melrose) was a little to the east of the present town of Melrose, on a bare promontory in the River Tweed. It was founded from Lindisfarne c. 640 , and Eata , the first abbot, was a Northumbrian pupil of Aidan . Melrose was the school of Cuthbert, whose life and work resembled that of Patrick in Ireland. In 1136 , at a new site where the town of Melrose now stands, David I founded the first Cistercian house in Scotland, which survived until the...

Aran Islands

Aran Islands   Reference library

Brewer's Dictionary of Irish Phrase & Fable

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2011

...archipelago of three rocky islands, Inishmore ( Inis Mór , ‘big island’), Inishmaan ( Inis Meáin , ‘middle island’) and Inisheer ( Inis Oírr , ‘east island’) running in descending order of size roughly southeast in the outer waters of Galway Bay. Their bare ridges of limestone seem incapable of sustaining life, yet they have been inhabited since prehistoric times. In mythology the Aran Islands were held to be the place of retreat of the Firbolgs after their defeat at the Battle of Magh Tuireadh (Moytura). The first Irish monastery was founded on Inishmore...

Old

Old   Reference library

Brewer's Dictionary of Phrase & Fable (19 ed.)

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2013

...in Devon. It is traditionally said that Mother Hubbard was the housekeeper at Kitley, and there is a cottage at Yealmpton purporting to be her former residence. Old Mother Hubbard Went to the cupboard To fetch her poor dog a bone; But when she came there The cupboard was bare And so the poor dog had none. Old Mother Riley The garrulous old washerwoman was the creation and persona of the music hall comedian Arthur Lucan ( 1885–1954 ), whose wife stood in as her daughter, Kitty . Her heyday was the interwar years, when she appeared solely on stage....

Rock

Rock   Reference library

Brewer's Dictionary of Phrase & Fable (19 ed.)

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2013

... Dream Caused by the Flight of a Bee around a Pomegranate One Second Before Waking Up ( 1944 ). Teardrop Explodes, The ( 1978–83 ): from the caption to a cartoon in a D.C. Marvel comic: ‘Filling the wintered glades of Central Park with an unearthly whine … painting the leaf-bare branches with golden fire … the teardrop explodes !! … for echoing seconds the sky is filled with silver webs of lightning – and, with the glow’s fading, a new menace is revealed!’ ( Prince Namor , No 77, June 1971 ). The psychedelic name was chosen by the group’s lead singer, ...

Rock group names

Rock group names   Reference library

Brewer's Dictionary of Modern Phrase & Fable (2 ed.)

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2011

...being Dream Caused by the Flight of a Bee around a Pomegranate One Second before Waking Up ( 1944 ). Teardrop Explodes, The (1978–83): from the caption to a cartoon in a D.C. Marvel comic: ‘Filling the wintered glades of Central Park with an unearthly whine … painting the leaf-bare branches with golden fire … THE TEARDROP EXPLODES!! … for echoing seconds the sky is filled with silver webs of lightning – and, with the glow's fading, a new menace is revealed!’ ( Prince Namor , No 77, June 1971 ). The Psychedelic name was chosen by the group's lead singer, ...

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