Feature Word: Doozy (Doozie)

Definition:

Noun.
Something that is remarkable, either for it’s level of difficulty or it’s exceptional superiority.

Description:

There is no definitive origin for the word “doozy” but there are at least three main theories, the oldest of which is that it is an adaptation of “daisy,” which was used in 18th century England as a synonym for something or someone of high caliber.

Example: “That horse is a real daisy.  She’s well worth the price!”

Other etymological sources suggest it derives form the nickname for the Dusenberg, a luxury automobile introduced in the US in the 1920s.

A third possibility is that it come from the nickname given to Italian actress Eleanor Duse, who made headlines as beautiful and talented import to the New York theater world in the 1890s.

The definition has expanded in modern parlance from indicating something or someone superior to also including something that is extraordinary in its negative qualities.

Example:  “That test was a real doozy.  I sure hope I passed.”

Source:

Random House Historical Dictionary of American Slang

On/Off the Wagon

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Definition:

On: no longer drinking
Off: still drinking

Description:

When the mob was running moonshine, it was required that the drivers not drink alcohol.

So, when one is On the wagon, one is not supposed to drink alcohol.

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Lynch

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Definition:

kill without legal sanction

Description:

Lynch law (lynching) is a term describing the rough-and-ready administration of justice by a mob in cases where the law is inadequate or dilatory (nowadays popularly meaning the execution of a supposed criminal). The term originates from the practice of Charles Lynch, a farmer in Virginia, USA who during the later part of the 18th century supported revolutionary principles in the district where he lived by catching ‘Tories’ and infamous people, whom he then hanged by their thumbs until they cried out ‘Liberty for All’.

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Hello

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Definition:

A form of greeting

Description:

The word was coined by Thomas Edison as a form of greeting to be used on the telephone.
Alexander Graham Bell’s suggestion was ‘Hoy Hoy’.
Thomas Edison’s suggestion caught on.

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Gadget

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Definition:

appliance: a device or control that is very useful for a particular job

Description:

After the completion of the Statue of Liberty, the city of New York had a large celebration.
The owner of the company that designed the statue of Liberty, Gaget, Gaultier & Co., decided to cash in on this occasion, and made small bronze replica of the statue to sell.
It was such a popular item, that everyone was asking, ‘So, do you have your Gadget?’ referring to the small bronze replica of the Statue of Liberty.

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Doesn’t Have a Leg to Stand On

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Definition:

To be in a weak position; indefensible position; not supported by law

Description:

John Neil (1825) – Brother Jonathan
“As if the Yankee man were determined to leave the briggadier without a leg to stand upon, as a lawyer would say.”

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