mettle \MET-l\ noun – Courage and fortitude. Disposition or temperament. Origin: Mettle was used interchangeably with the material metal until the early 1700s. Mettle continued to be used in the figurative sense of “stuff of which a person is made” even as the spellings diverged.
Archive for January, 2012
slimsy \ SLIM-zee \ adjective – Flimsy; frail. Origin: Slimsy is an Americanism that came into common use in the 1830s and early 1840s. It is a combination of slim and flimsy.
truss \truhs\ verb – To tie, bind, or fasten. To make fast with skewers, thread, or the like, as the wings or legs of a fowl in preparation for cooking. To furnish or support with a truss or trusses. To tie or secure (the body) closely or tightly; bind (often followed by up). Falconry. (Of [...]
fusty \FUHS-tee\ adjective – Having a stale smell; moldy; musty. Old-fashioned or out-of-date, as architecture, furnishings, or the like. Stubbornly conservative or old-fashioned; fogyish. Origin: Fusty comes from the Old French word fust, meaning a “wine cask.” As wine casks are stuffy and smelly, the adjective is a logical association.