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#97222 - 02/28/03 08:33 AM bistro
of troy Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 10/17/00
Posts: 5400
Loc: rego park
You know where this comes from? Russian! a word meaning 'quickly' or "in haste"

became popular in France after the napolionic wars.

(i would be glad to hear more...or be corrected if my source is wrong.)

my other obsession

#97223 - 03/01/03 01:25 AM Re: bistro or bistrot
emanuela Offline

Registered: 03/16/00
Posts: 315
Loc: Italy - Perugia is a town with...
I found this:
"Our rub today is the French bistro, or bistrot ---- both are correct, with bistro first appearing in 1884, followed by bistrot in 1892. The origin of the word is uncertain, but the most popular and romantic hypothesis is that it came from the Russian bystro (meaning quickly), introduced by Cossacks during the 1814 occupation of Paris as they shouted for faster service in cafes.

However, this picturesque interpretation is discounted by most lexicographers. They say that the word bistro probably came from Parisian argot meaning "proprietor of a tavern." Another less dreamy version is that bistro comes from the root bistre, meaning a somber and smokey place. "

#97224 - 02/08/04 11:41 AM Dragging this one back up...
Fiberbabe Offline
old hand

Registered: 01/12/01
Posts: 771
Loc: Portland, Oregon
Forgive me, I'm catching back up.

It may be apocryphal, but I remember hearing something about the practice of tipping originating in Colonial coffee- and chocolate-houses, where a box was mounted on the wall with a sign reading To Insure Promptness. Then the verbing of an acronym, blah blah blah, and here we are. Anyone confirm this?

#97225 - 02/09/04 08:38 AM Re: Dragging this one back up...
Faldage Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 12/01/00
Posts: 13803
Pre-20th century acronymic etymologies are automatically suspect.


#97226 - 02/09/04 08:44 AM Re: towing this one back up...
Buffalo Shrdlu Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 06/24/02
Posts: 7210
Loc: Vermont
while we're there, what's the pronunciation for "tow" in tow headed? like toe, or rhyming with cow? I've always said toe, but it made me wonder. I also noticed "tousled" in the explanation. are they related?

formerly known as etaoin...

#97227 - 02/09/04 08:04 PM Re: towing this one back up...
Zed Offline

Registered: 08/27/02
Posts: 2154
Loc: British Columbia, Canada
Isn't tow sometning to do with flax or linen? (too tired to look it up so I'll go home now and gratefully let someone else do the work)

#97228 - 02/09/04 08:19 PM Re: towing this one back up...
Buffalo Shrdlu Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 06/24/02
Posts: 7210
Loc: Vermont
yes, I believe that's true Zed.

formerly known as etaoin...

#97229 - 02/09/04 09:00 PM Re: towing this one back up...
wwh Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 01/18/01
Posts: 13858
Pronunciation is one of the most annoying deficiencies of
the Internet. I looked in a dozen different places, and none
of them had a clear statement about the pronunciation.
Tow is flax that has been retted and prepared for
spinning. It is the color of very blonde hair. And it is
pronounced like a digit on a foot, toe.

#97230 - 02/10/04 05:27 AM Re: towing this one back up...
Buffalo Shrdlu Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 06/24/02
Posts: 7210
Loc: Vermont
thanks, Helen.

M-W got me this:

Main Entry: 3 tow
Function: noun
Etymology: Middle English, from Old English tow- spinning; akin to Old Norse tO tuft of wool for spinning, Old English tawian to prepare for use -- more at TAW
1 : short or broken fiber (as of flax, hemp, or synthetic material) that is used especially for yarn, twine, or stuffing
2 a : yarn or cloth made of tow b : a loose essentially untwisted strand of synthetic fibers

the pronunciation of "tow sack" was as "toe", so I'm assuming it's the same.

formerly known as etaoin...

#97231 - 02/13/04 09:51 PM Catching back up...
Sparteye Offline

Registered: 01/05/01
Posts: 1773
I'm catching back up.

Good luck with that.


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