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Origin Of Familiar Words

Origin Of Familiar Words image
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Tlie father of tha groat orator and statesmau, Kichard Brinslcy Sheridan, whon lebseo of old Crow street theater, Dublin, was the "manager" alluded to in the origin of tho word " quiz." "Tho word 'quiz,' to make fun of, or to poke fun at a person, was the coinage of a theatrioal manager in Dublin, who, at a drinking party with his friends oa Saturday night, whero tho convars&tion turned upon the subject of words, offered to bot the wine that ho could then and thero coin a word whioh would be in the raouths of all Dublin next day. The bet being taken and the party dispersed, the manager called up his boys and runnera, gave them pieces of chalk, and ordered them to run all over the city chalking tho word 'quiz' 011 every door, shutter and fence they came to. 'Ihis was done, and as a matter of course the word was in everybody's mouth the next day. The manager won his bet, and the word is now in all rospectable dictionaries. "The slang expression fordeath, 'kicking the bucket,' had its origin from one Bolsover who, in England, a great while ago, committed suicide by standing on a bucket till he kicked the bucket froia under bim. " Tho word ' bumper,' meaning a full drink when friends are drinking, ia a corruption of the toast offered in French to the Pope when the Catholio religión wat in tho ascendant in England - ' au bon pere.' " To ' dunn,' to press for money due, comes froin one Joe Dunn, a famous bailiff of Lincoln, in England, during the the reign oí Henry VII. He wai so coinmonly suceessful in collecting money that when a man refused to pay, the creditor was asked why he didn't Dunn him. "'Humbug' is a corruption of th Irish words ' uim bog,' pronounced oombug, signifying soft copper, or pewter, or brass, or worthless money, suoh as was made by James II. at the Dublin mint - twonty shillings of which was worth only two pence sterling. At first applied to worthless ooiu the word became the general title of anything false ot counterfeit. '' The sign ' viz. ,' signiyf ying to wit, or namely, is an abbreviation of 'videlicet ;' but the third letter was not originally z ; it was the mark used in medioino for a drachm, whioh in writing much resembles z, and in viz. was simply UBedasa mark sign oL abbreviation." - Pen and Ploic.


Old News
Michigan Argus