Jerry Seinfeld asked why we were still measuring the power of the space shuttle in horses too.
From: T. S. Eliot Discussion forum. [mailto:[log in to unmask]] On Behalf Of Rickard A. Parker
Sent: Tuesday, 12 February 2013 10:40 AM
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: Re: Phrasal help wanted, s.v.p.
On Mon, 11 Feb 2013 02:19:11 -0800, P <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
>Can anyone in this illustrious litterarily and linguistically advantaged
motley crew advise me as to why a Geordie in the 20th/21st Century would use
the 18th/19th C. phrase "set her cap at" meaning to attempt to attract a
member of the male sex?
>Multi-thx in advance.
The phrase has been mentioned to be derived from a French nautical expression.
"Set her cap at him" is said to come from "mettre le cap sur", an 18th century
navigational term for 'steer a course'.
Which leads me here: Why do we say things "I'm going to go on a cruise
and SAIL to Bermuda"?
Then there is the keyboard's carriage return or return key, dialling a phone,
grammy awards for album art, cc'ing in email (carbon copies), web pages and
calling television remote controls clickers.
And one more thing about obsolete usages:
Little Johnny raises his hand and gets called on by the teacher.
"Miss Jones, what does 'tore his leather' mean?"
"I don't know, Johnny, why do you ask?"
"It's in this story you've asked us to read."
"Give me the context Johnny."
"The story says, 'Robin Hood tore his leather jerkin off.'"