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#212359 - 09/01/13 06:57 PM Re: diabolical liberty [Re: gaius novus]
Pted Offline
stranger

Registered: 09/01/13
Posts: 1
"That's a diabolical liberty" was a catch phrase scripted for Sid James in the highly successful and influential BBC comedy series of the mid 1950s, 'Hancock's Half Hour'. Typically, "They can't do that! That's a diabolical liberty"


Edited by Pted (09/01/13 06:59 PM)

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#212366 - 09/02/13 12:01 PM Re: diabolical liberty [Re: Pted]
LukeJavan8 Offline
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Registered: 06/23/08
Posts: 6435
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#212703 - 10/03/13 12:09 PM Re: diabolical liberty [Re: gaius novus]
NRan Offline
stranger

Registered: 10/03/13
Posts: 1
Loc: Canada
I'm pretty sure it has a theological origin - it really means "of the devil". You can see these ideas clearly laid out in Milton's Paradise Lost, for example. God has permitted Free Will, because obedience and worship of God are only meaningful if we have the option not to obey or worship. But the exercise of Free Will led to the fall of the rebel angels, who have now become diabolical. But through continued use the phrase has lost most of its intensity, so "diabolical" becomes a mere adjective meaning "outrageous" or "offensive".

Also, the "liberty" part - "taking liberties" meaning behaving with inappropriate informality, in a presumptuous way. So a "liberty" would be an incursion on someone's privacy or dignity.

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#212723 - 10/04/13 05:20 PM Re: diabolical liberties [Re: NRan]
BranShea Offline
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Registered: 06/23/06
Posts: 5282
Loc: Netherlands, the Hague
Diabolos (toy) evolved from the Chinese yo-yo, which was originally standardized in the 12th century. Chinese yo-yos have a long thin axle, with disc-shaped wheels, while the western diabolo is more cone-shaped. Diabolos are made of different materials and come in different sizes and weights.
The term "diabolo" was not taken from the Italian word for "devil"—"diavolo"—but was coined by French engineer Gustave Phillippart, who developed the modern diabolo in the early twentieth century and derived the name from the Greek dia bolo, roughly meaning 'across throw'.
The Greek word "diabolos" means "the liar" or "the one that commits perjury", from the verb "diaballo", which means "to throw in", "to generate confusion", "to divide", or "to make someone fall". Later the word "diabolos" was used by Christian writers as "the liar that speaks against God". From this meaning come many modern languages' words for "devil" (French: diable, Italian: diavolo, Spanish: diablo, Portuguese: diabo, German: Teufel, Polish: diabeł).
Confusion about the provenance of the name may have arisen from the earlier name "the devil on two sticks", although nowadays this often also refers to another circus-based skill toy, the devil stick. (wiki)

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