Feature Word: Pork Barrel

Definition:

government projects or appropriations yielding rich patronage benefits.

Description:

You might expect that the original pork barrels were barrels for storing pork — and you’re right. In the early 19th century, that’s exactly what ‘pork barrel’ meant.

But, the term was also used figuratively to mean ‘a supply of money’ or ‘one’s livelihood’ (a farmer, after all, could readily turn pork into cash).

When 20th-century legislators doled out appropriations that benefited their home districts, someone apparently made an association between the profit a farmer got from a barrel of pork and the benefits derived from certain state and federal projects. By 1909, ‘pork barrel’ was being used as a noun naming such government appropriations, and today the term is often used attributively in constructions such as ‘pork barrel politics’ or ‘pork barrel project.’

Source:

Merriam Webster Dictionary - Word of the Day

Fido

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Definition:

dog

Description:

A popular name for dogs, it actually derived from the Latin word for ‘trusting’
It seems that dogs have always been a faithful companion for humankind.

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Cooked His Goose

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Definition:

Did him in

Description:

An old story relates that a medieval town under siege hung a goose from a tower, symbolizing the stupidity of the attackers.

The attackers were so enraged that they burned the town, thereby literally cooking the townspeople’s goose.

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Cold Enough to Freeze the Balls off a Brass Monkey

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Definition:

Really, really cold!

Description:

In the pirate days, the ships were all equipped with cannons. The cannon balls were places upon a holder that were called ‘Brass Monkeys’ Since the metal used to make the cannon balls were extremely different from the metal used to make the brass monkeys, on an extremely cold day, they would contract at different rates (Different metals react differently to temperature). The cannon balls would literally fall off the holder when the temperature drop to the extremes. Hence the term.

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