Without Feathers - Slang Origins Summary & Analysis

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Slang Origins Summary

While this essay claims it will reveal the origins of certain slang expressions, the author freely admits that he didn't bother consulting a credible authority, relying instead on his own common sense and the opinions of friends.

The author claims that the phrase "humble pie" comes from France, where the minister of justice once suffocated, dying in humiliation while attempting to eat a huge "jumbo pie." The word "jumbo" eventually became "jumble" and that eventually became "humble" due to Spanish influence. Across the channel, meanwhile, the phrase "take it on the lam" was born from an English game called "lamming" in which people affixed feathers to themselves using a tube of ointment. The relationship to its modern use is unclear to the author.

To "get into a beef" comes from the Renaissance when, the author reveals, slabs of meat were used...

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This section contains 485 words
(approx. 2 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy the Without Feathers Study Guide
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