Duck [Noun.]


‘[Old English] Old English duce describing this swimming bird, is from the Germanic base of the verb duck ‘to dip under’. It is sometimes used as a term of endearment (Shakespeare Midsummer Night’s Dream: “O dainty duck, o deare!” Dickens Old Curiosity Shop: “How is he now my duck of diamonds”).

The use of the word in cricket to signify no score, is short for a duck’s egg, because of the similarity in shape between the egg’s outline and the figure zero.’

– Chantrell. G. edt. 2002. The Oxford Essential Dictionary of World Histories New York, United States: Berkley Publishing Group (2003) p. 163

Girl [Noun.]


‘[Middle English] In early use, this word referred to a child or young person of either sex. It is perhaps related to Low German gör ‘child’. In the late 18th century gal started to be used occasionally, representing a particular pronunciation. The phrase the girl next door to describe an ordinary and likable young women arose in film contexts in the 1950s.’

– Chantrell. G. edt. 2002. The Oxford Essential Dictionary of World Histories New York, United States: Berkley Publishing Group (2003) p. 232

Sex [Noun.]


‘This word which originally denoted either of the two categories, male and female, is from Old French sexe or Latin sexus. Sex denoting sexual intercourse dates from the 1920s; the adjective in this phrase (mid 17th century sexual) is from the late Latin sexualis, from late Latin sexus.’

– Chantrell. G. edt. 2002. The Oxford Essential Dictionary of World Histories New York, United States: Berkley Publishing Group (2003) p. 458

Codswallop [Noun.]


‘A load of codswallop is an informal way of saying ‘lot of nonsense’; the origin of the first element of the word is sometimes said to be the name Hiram Codd who, in 1878, invented a bottle of fizzy drinks; this theory has not been confirmed. The element wallop may be from a colloquial use of the word from the 1930s for ‘beer’ or any alcoholic drink.’

– Chantrell. G. edt. 2002. The Oxford Essential Dictionary of World Histories New York, United States: Berkley Publishing Group (2003) p. 103