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Author Topic: DAILY BRIEFING  (Read 66875 times)

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Offline rufusredtail

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Re: DAILY BRIEFING
« Reply #165 on: May 17, 2017, 05:41:51 PM »

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A Buck
 
How "buck" becomes slang for U. S. dollar? The term originated from the Old West when buckskin was a common medium of exchange with Indians. Later as currency replaced the barter system, people still refer to a dollar as a buck (short for buckskin).

Offline rufusredtail

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Re: DAILY BRIEFING
« Reply #166 on: May 23, 2017, 03:19:04 PM »

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DEADLINE

Fixed date or time.
The Confederate-run POW camp at Andersonville was rightly infamous ; some distance in from the stockade wall ran another line, the "dead line;' beyond which any prisoner would be presumed to be attempting to escape and consequently shot out of hand.
Located about 10 miles to the northeast of Americus, Georgia, the camp was open for only 13 months from February 1864 to March 1865, but as there were no barracks or basic facilities Andersonville suffered a death rate of 1,200 inmates per month. Press coverage of the postwar trial of the commanding officer, a Swiss mercenary called Henry Wirz, brought "deadline" into general use in the late 19th century.

Offline rufusredtail

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Re: DAILY BRIEFING
« Reply #167 on: May 30, 2017, 04:58:20 PM »

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CUT AND RUN

Leave with all haste.
To sit in ambush, a warship might hide in a small estuary, riding at anchor in a running stream with the sails furled and tied off with light rope so that a few quick cuts would allow them to fall down and into use. Combined with the tug of the current, this would allow the vessel to get under way at first sighting of the enemy ship. The notion that the expression derives from a ship cutting its own anchor cable in haste to clear danger does not hold up, as such ships could not get under way like startled gazelles; there was always time to haul in the anchor and secure it in its bow support.
The inclusion of "run" in the expression has introduced overtones of cowardice or perhaps self-interest, which were not present in the original usage of the 17th century.


Offline rufusredtail

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Re: DAILY BRIEFING
« Reply #168 on: June 02, 2017, 03:16:02 PM »




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COWBOY

Slipshod or-reckless operator.
The men who herded cattle in the 19th-century American  West were never called cowboys. They were called cow herders, vaqueros (corrupted to "buckaroos" in translation), cowhands, cowpokes, wranglers or even beef-drivers, but never cowboys.
The first actual cowboys were active during the American War of Independence ( 1775-83) as Tory guerrillas loyal to the British Crown, and the word was in use well before 1882. Their favorite ruse was to lure patriotic farmers into ambush by tinkling cowbells in the undergrowth and taking pot shots at anyone who came to look for the animal. After the war, "cowboy" became broadly understood to denote a Texan rustler who specialized in raids across the border into Mexico, so it is fair to say that the term has rarely enjoyed polite use in America.
By 1940 use of the term had spread to include inconsiderate drivers too, and it was this meaning that migrated to the UK in the 1960s and attached itself to truck drivers on the Middle East runs who paid scant regard to vehicle safety or loading restrictions and who would transport anything anywhere if the price was right. Today the term denotes any shoddy workman. SABOTAGE and WHIG

Offline rufusredtail

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Re: DAILY BRIEFING
« Reply #169 on: June 06, 2017, 06:14:16 PM »
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HATCHET-MAN

Aggressively  effective subordinate.
In the early 18th century a hatchet-man was a soldier sent ahead of the main column to scout the way and mark his course on trees with an ax. He was also known as the "trailblazer;' not for his fiery courage but from "blaze" meaning "white;' a reference to the white marks he left on the trees. The blaze on a horse's head is so-named for the same reason. If the column were of a size to warrant it, the hatchet-man was followed close behind by a squad of soldiers with picks and shovels to clear the land for camp and dig latrines. The Old French for such troops was paoniers, hence "pioneers" .;ho, in the British Army, evolved into the Royal Pioneer Corps of Light Engineers.
In American military circles "hatchet-man" was used of anyone who undertook an onerous task for others, but when the expression filtered into political and commercial circles it took on darker overtones, for no other reason than the involvement  of  the word "hatchet:'

Offline rufusredtail

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Re: DAILY BRIEFING
« Reply #170 on: June 10, 2017, 06:20:01 PM »
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TAKE (SOMEONE) DOWN A PEG OR TWO

Deflate someone's ego.
The height at which a warship's identifying flags flew was dictated by a series of pegs at the foot of the mast, and maritime etiquette demanded a junior ship "dip" her colours in the presence of, say, an admiral's ship. The allusion is hence to a ship, hitherto the senior in the fleet, which suddenly has to acknowledge a more important ship's arrival. The expression was employed metaphorically as early as the late 1500s.

Offline rufusredtail

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Re: DAILY BRIEFING
« Reply #171 on: June 15, 2017, 02:50:18 PM »

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SHIT.  (SCUSE MY FRENCH)

Manure... An interesting fact

Manure : In the 16th and 17th centuries, everything had to be transported by ship and it was also before the invention of commercial fertilizers, so large shipments of manure were quite common.



It was shipped dry, because in dry form it weighed a lot less than when wet, but once water (at sea) hit it, not only did it become heavier, but the process of fermentation began again, of which a by product is methane gas of course.. As the stuff was stored below decks in bundles you can see what could (and did) happen.
Methane began to build up below decks and the first time someone came below at night with a lantern, BOOM!  Several ships were destroyed in this manner before it was determined just what was happening After that, the bundles of manure were always stamped with the instruction ' Stow high in transit ' on them, which meant for the sailors to stow it high enough off the lower decks so that any water that came into the hold would not touch this volatile cargo and start the production of methane.



Thus evolved the term ' S.H.I.T ', (Stow High In Transit) which has come down through the centuries and is in use to this very day.





Offline rufusredtail

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Re: DAILY BRIEFING
« Reply #172 on: June 19, 2017, 07:20:21 PM »

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SLAVE

Captive labor.
The Germanic and Venetian armies of the Middle Ages were funded by slaving expeditions to  the Slavic nations to sell captive labor throughout Europe and North Africa. So extensive was this trade that "Slav" evolved into "slave:' The Italian equivalent, schiavo, survives as the cheerful Ciao, once the call or dismissal of a Venetian slave who responded with the same term; Ciao is still used as both a greeting and a farewell.

Offline rufusredtail

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Re: DAILY BRIEFING
« Reply #173 on: June 25, 2017, 04:57:13 PM »

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HANG FIRE

Delay.
Early cannon and mines were unreliable and there could sometimes be quite a delay between the ignition of the priming charge and the explosion . Under such circumstances the gun was said to be "hanging fire;' and only a fool would go anywhere near it until it either went off or was rendered safe. Firearms and cannon became so hot after protracted  firing that pouring gunpowder into them was dangerous, so a gun crew might be ordered to "hang fire" until their piece cooled to safe loading temperatures . HOIST ON YOUR OWN PETARD and GRENADE

Offline rufusredtail

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Re: DAILY BRIEFING
« Reply #174 on: July 07, 2017, 02:30:01 PM »

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HERE'S MUD IN YOUR EYE

Drinking toast.
This phrase is sometimes said to have originated as a taunting toast before the start of a wild goose chase, in which the proposer indicated his intention to lead the field and give everyone else a face-full of mud from his horse's  hooves. The expression is unknown before World War I, however, and appears to be instead a grim acknowledgment of the reality of life in the trenches; here's to a life of muck and bullets, in other words.

Offline rufusredtail

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Re: DAILY BRIEFING
« Reply #175 on: July 12, 2017, 05:49:26 PM »

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HAVOC

Great confusion.
Originally rooted in the Anglo Saxon word for a hawk, "havoc" was also a cry raised on the battlefield calling for unlimited slaughter, no quarter granted or expected. Early in the reign of Richard II (1377-99) the cry was outlawed under pain of death for he who raised it or answered it. The Black Book of the Admiralty of 1385, then printed in French and Latin, states: "Item, qe nul soit si hardy de crier havok sur peine davoir la test coupe," which basically translates as "Cry 'havoc' and we'll cut your head off'

Offline rufusredtail

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Re: DAILY BRIEFING
« Reply #176 on: July 26, 2017, 06:03:13 PM »
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GRENADE

Hand-thrown bomb.
Fifteenth-century grenades were round with a slow-fuse sticking out of the top, like a cartoon bomb. They were about the same size as a pomegranate and sprayed seeds of shrapnel, so they were named after the notoriously seedy fruit they resembled. Most early bombs were more dangerous to the user than the enemy, so the grenade faded from use and the taller-than-average men picked from the ranks to throw them returned to the infantry whence they came, but remained an elite corps and are still called the Grenadiers.
The grenade did not see serious action again until the Russo - Japanese War (1904-05), and even in the opening months of World War I the supply of factory-produced grenades was erratic to say the least, so troops in the trenches whiled away the long spells of boredom by making their own. The British troops in Northern France tended to use bottles or the "hairbrush bomb;' which was a shaped piece of wood with a charge attached, while the Australians fighting in the Middle East favored old jelly tins and brought this technology to France in 1916. If in a frivolous mood, which was often the case, the Aussies would insert a small charge into a full tin of jelly and lob it at the Germans, who were at first terrified by these pranks, mistaking the joke for some kind of hideous germ warfare.

Offline rufusredtail

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Re: DAILY BRIEFING
« Reply #177 on: August 02, 2017, 04:27:51 PM »
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PROTOCOL

Agreed etiquette.
In general speech the term stands synonymous with "etiquette;' but those who insist on following protocol in this are shamelessly abusing the word.
Any lengthy declaration of war or treaty drawn._ up in Ancient Greece in the 3rd century BC might be inscribed on several pieces of parchment that were glued together in series and rolled up in .a volume (Latin volvere, "to roll'), with the lead sheet giving details of content and known as the protokollen, "first stuck" or "first glued:' The term shifted into English diplomatic jargon of the early 17th century when it denoted the first page of a document detailing the broad terms of the attached trade agreement, declaration of war, or treaty.

Offline rufusredtail

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Re: DAILY BRIEFING
« Reply #178 on: August 07, 2017, 06:50:23 PM »
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COVER YOUR ASS


Take all steps for self-protection.
This is an expression used by American forces during the Vietnam War (1959-73). It seems to have developed from the practice of the more jungle-wise soldiers of taking the additional precaution of sitting on their helmets when  travelling over enemy territory by helicopter, in order to obviate the risk of receiving embarrassing wounds from ground fire.

Offline rufusredtail

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Re: DAILY BRIEFING
« Reply #179 on: August 11, 2017, 06:15:56 PM »

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BIG BERTHA

Large woman.
There is considerable confusion  surrounding this nickname, which is popularly imagined to have first applied to the Paris Gun, a long? range gun used by the Germans in World War I to shell Paris from a distance of about 70 miles. In fact, the epithet denoted any of the 42cm howitzers used by the Germans in 1914 to bombard Liege and Namur in southern Belgium, and was named after Bertha Krupp ( 1866-1957) in whose family's factories the guns had been built. The Paris Gun was built by Skoda, and its real nickname was Dicke Bertha, correctly translating as "Fat Bertha:' The term is used in modern English to describe a particularly impressive tennis serve or rugby kick.

 

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