You are currently browsing the tag archive for the ‘Uncertain’ tag.

A small hammer used by a judge (or person in charge of a formal meeting) that they bang on a desk to get people‚Äôs attention. Uncertain origin, perhaps Scottish dialect “kevel”=a small hammer used to break stones.

A puzzling, confusing, and/or difficult problem. Uncertain origin but perhaps a joke fake-Latin word used by Oxford university students in C16th for a pedant or crank, which later was used for a whim, then a pun, and how a puzzle.

Gradually persuade someone to do something by being nice or making promises to them. French “cajoler.” Uncertain origin.

The hard shell on the outside of some animals such as a crab, lobster or turtle. Spanish “carapacho”=upper shell of a tortoise. Uncertain origin, possibly “caparazon”=horse’s body armor < Latin “capara”= a hood.

A fool or simpleton; a stupid person. Possibly variation of “nodcock.” Uncertain origin.

Describes a person who dresses smartly and fashionably. Uncertain origin, perhaps related to “neat.”

British slang for a rich or upper-class person. Perhaps from “tuft”=the gold tassel on a titled Oxford/Cambridge graduate’s cap.

Something that causes fear or anxiety; an evil spirit. Uncertain origin ?Welsh “bwgan bo”=the devil.

Mythical creature that causes problems on aircraft. Uncertain origin but from the 1940’s and possibly alternation of “goblin.”

Bad or unpleasant; filthy or dirty. Uncertain origin. ? Old French “nastre”=low social status < “villanastre”=ignoble, infamous.

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