Issue 181, page 4
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From Ted Reinert:
The problem is not that the OED uses an unusual spelling of the word, but that it is inconsistent and uses one spelling in one spot and another spelling in another spot. In neither instance does the word occur in a quotation.
From Henry Peacock:
From Dr. Seth Thompson:
From Eric D. Zimmerman:
From Terri Pine:
Daniel H. Schechner:
Very funny, Daniel! Thanks to all of you for your kind words.
The frog in brickmaking is a hollow in one or both faces of the brick. The OED connects that word with frog "amphibian", perhaps because of the shape of the hollow(s) (our conjecture).
The frog "fastener" is thought to come from Portuguese froco, which has the same meaning, and ultimately from Latin floccus "flock", which is not a group of animals but instead the white stuff put on Christmas trees to make them look snowed-upon. Synonyms for Latin floccus are "a tuft of wool" or "a snowflake". Apparently the cloak fastener was thought to look like such. Curiously, the word frock (= "dress") is also from floccus .
From Dave Paul:
When our internet host moved us to a new server last week, they moved Issue 179 instead of Issue 180. Once we became aware of the problem we fixed it. All should be back to normal, now, and we're still at http://www.takeourword.com .
From Jeffrey Lichtman:
From Dwight Shaw:
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