What is the origin of BrEng ‘bird’ meaning “young woman”?

Bird: (Brit.) a girl or young woman, esp one’s girlfriend (Collins Dict. ) According to Etymonline, bird: “maiden, young girl,” c.1300, confused with burd (q.v.), but felt by later writers as a figurative use of bird (n.1). Modern slang meaning “young woman” is from 1915, and probably arose independently of the older word. also : … Read more

“Gentle confines”

Where does this phrase come from? It’s something I use (usually ironically) and something that’s “just there” in my lexicon like “fit as a fiddle”. However when I Google it, no origin pops up. It is used as early as 1855: It is in his admiration for the gentle confines between virtue and her antagonist … Read more

Term for/etymology of the opposite of a nosism (using ‘we’ to mean ‘you’)

A nosism is the term for using ‘we’ to refer to oneself. I am looking for a term for/etymology of using ‘we’ to mean ‘you’. EDIT: Another way of putting it is that I’m looking for the proper term for “the patronising we” (made up) that is mentioned here. In the UK, it is somewhat … Read more

Which words have historically had a final n only before a vowel?

In Modern English, the only word that has a final n only before a vowel is a/an: a face an eye In Middle English, there was the pair my/mine: my face mine eye Also, the was then before a vowel. What these words have in common (apart from changing pronunciation depending on the following sound) … Read more

What are the origins of the word “nice”?

The word “nice” tends to be used in rather a wishy-washy sense these days. In general use it tends to mean anything that is satisfactory. But what are the origins of this word? What did it originally mean? Why has the meaning changed so much through the years? Answer Interesting question indeed! It originally meant … Read more

Anti-vax origins of “vaxxed” [closed]

Closed. This question is opinion-based. It is not currently accepting answers. Want to improve this question? Update the question so it can be answered with facts and citations by editing this post. Closed 4 months ago. Improve this question The world* is talking about getting vaccinated, and saying “vaxxed” to do so. Here are the … Read more

Etymology of “Sidejacking”

How did the term “Sidejacking” come out? What is its origin? Answer The word is obviously derived from Hijack. Presumably this word arises because the technique involves using “cookie” information from data transmitted unencrypted in conjunction with encrypted data. I would speculate that the word “side” was compounded with hijack because the encrypted and unencrypted … Read more