Wednesday 9 September 2009

Howlers for September

harbinger for Achilles heel? Trojan horse? albatross? poisoned chalice? worm in the bud? early warning system? Her collection of gently provocative essays suggest that our familiarity with crows may be a harbinger. New Scientist 5 Sept. 09 A harbinger was originally someone who went ahead of the travelling party to arrange the night's food and lodging.

trove for hoard (treasure trove is something you’ve found or trouvé)

on a role for on a roll (a role is a part in a play; if you're on a roll you're a log rolling downhill)

Corpus Christie for Corpus Christi (from auction catalogue)

Applying his trade for plying

Hierarchy used to mean élite (they're at the top of the hierarchy)

defiantly for definitely (youtube)

swarve for suave

batwing doors for swing doors in Western saloons Guardian June 10 09

nebbish used as adjective (it’s a noun) “in person he is nebbish and self deprecating” Guardian June 27 09

intercession for reminder? “Rags are still tied to trees as divine intercessions” Dan Snow on the Celts, BBC2 He means a plea for intercession.

greenskin for cleanskin: A new, coherent vision for the commission, drawn up with greenskin commissioners who will pull in the same direction. Guardian 7/29/09 "Within the vernacular of counter-terrorism agents and police officers, a cleanskin is an undercover operative whose identity is not known to the forces he or she is tasked to infiltrate."

androgenous for androgynous Guardian 7/20/09 Androgenous ought to mean "becoming masculine". An androgynous person is a boyish (andro) girl (gyn) or a girlish boy.

More here, here, here, here and here.

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