Monday, July 13, 2009

The United States Marine Corps tested the usefulness of commercial off-the-shelf skateboards during urban combat military exercises in the late 1990s in a program called Urban Warrior '99. Their special purpose was "for maneuvering inside buildings in order to detect tripwires and sniper fire.
sick, adj. and n.

c. In phrases sick as a dog, horse, etc. ( Sense sometimes merging with 4). Also sick as a parrot (a fanciful catch-phrase, chiefly used joc.).

1982 Daily Star 5 Feb. 5/6 Peter the budgie was sick as a parrot until a vet diagnosed his problem yesterday. Peter..has got gout!

slang (now esp. Skateboarding and Surfing). Excellent, impressive; risky.

1983 UNC-CH Campus Slang(Univ. N. Carolina, Chapel Hill) (typescript) Spring 5 Sick, unbelievably good: The Fleetwood Mac concert was sick. 1992 Caribbean Week Apr. 26/1 ‘A really sick car’ is an attractive, eye-catching vehicle and not one that's ready for the repair shop. 1997 BMX Plus! Apr. 56 (caption) Jeff Harrington has some of the sickest jumping variations we have ever seen. 2002 U.S. News & World Rep. 21 Jan.-4 Feb. 63/1 ‘That's siiiick!’ gushes an admiring fan.

"All right-thinking people know good bagels are rather soft"

Lawsuit, Shmawsuit.
Yale Law Journal, November 1993, 103 Yale L.J. 463

Alex Kozinski and Eugene Volokh

Searching the MEGA file in LEXIS reveals that "chutzpah" (sometimes also spelled "chutzpa," "hutzpah," or "hutzpa" has appeared in 112 reported cases. Curiously, all but eleven of them have been filed since 1980. There are two possible explanations for this. One is that during the last thirteen years there has been a dramatic increase in the actual amount of chutzpah in the United States -- or at least in the U.S. legal system. This explanation seems possible, but unlikely. The more likely explanation is that Yiddish is quickly supplanting Latin as the spice in American legal argot.


see also
National Endowment for the Arts v. Finley 524 U.S. 569 (1998)

did you know

IIRIRA included a provision prohibiting the use of federal funds for needle-exchange harm reduction programs?!

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

mutton thumper n. U.S. slang rare 0 an incompetent bookbinder.
1890 Cent. Dict., *Mutton thumper, a bungling bookbinder.

mutton tugger n. Obs. rare (perh.) a licentious man.
c1600 in A. Wood Life (1891-1900) I. 293 [The Oxford colleges are] the nurseries of wickedness, the nests of *mutton tuggers, the dens of formall droanes.