- Books, Literature, and Writing»
- Commercial & Creative Writing
Barefaced liar, Barking mad and the bees knees, what is the meaning,and where do they come from
World Wide Words
On finding the site world wide words, and through my husband buying me a book I became interested in just where do our words come from? Language changes all the while, it has to if only to give names to new inventions. Here is where Michael Quinion gives his ideas about where many well known words and sayings originate from..
I have decided to write about a few words myself, using his knowledge and what ever else I can glean from the internet, I do hope he dos'n't mind.
Polititians, some of our best bare faced liars
I felt that I wanted to look at words beginning with B here, hence the title.
The picture I am sure goes quite well with the words, as at one time or another most of them have been called this or similar terms.
So here we go then, lets look at some words.
Lets start with BARKING,
We all know dogs bark, trees have Bark, and a lot of us know of the suburb of Barking in London, but where and what does barking mean?
An often stated idea is that monks had an asylum at Barking in medieval times, but unfortunately that as it may be, the saying is not that old. It almost certainly does come from dogs frantically barking like mad. The records from a murder trial in 1876 is the oldest known use of the word I have found," The dogs were barking like tearing mad" It seems that in the late 1920s early thirties is was being used in literature to describe people. Ones who are mad like barking howling dogs.
This usually means someone who even if caught out telling a lie shows no remorse or shame. It is also I have found the name of a band, good old internet!
Lots of people use the word boldfaced or baldfaced these days, but there is much evidence that barfaced was the true and original meaning. Literally the bare faced man seeming more honest and acting in a forthright way, able to have his lies easily believed. It dates back to the 17th century.
So would you trust this man more or less?
I even found a band called barefaced liar
You may well have heard of the bees knees, the cats miaow or the cats whiskers. They all mean the same, something very good, stylish and in fashion.
These all date back to the 1920s when flappers did the charleston, wearing feathers and beads, and the youngsters of the time had their own language, as do ours.An Ohio newspaper in 1922 printed ""Bees Knees". That's flapper talk". So its American in origin.
Bees knees is now part of the English language along with the more modern and not so publicly acceptable Dogs bollocks!
These Really Are the Bees Knees
Posh Pommy Picnic, Another Word Hub By Me
An in depth look at the word BOTTLE as in not having the bottle to do something. Added because it involves the politician in the picture.
- World Wide Words: Bottle
The noun and verb'Bottle' have become attached to the British prime minister.
- World Wide Words
World Wide Words. More than 2200 pages on the origins, history, evolution and idiosyncrasies of the English language worldwide. New words and words in the news are regularly featured.
- Phrase Finder: A Cool Tool From The UK
Phrase Finder is a web site with great features for writers. Make quick work of getting the information you want.