Jan 3, 2007

Stilettos and marital aids

The editors of The Oxford English Dictionary are asking the public to help them find the origins of several words.
The English language has 643,000 words, but the origins of some of our commonest phrases remain a matter of conjecture.

The dictionary’s editors think that they know which prat first caused a domestic after taking a bung, but they promise to perform a flip-flop if someone can prove that it is more than a shaggy dog tale.

In other words, they will revise the next edition of the OED if anyone can provide compelling and verifiable evidence of an alternative provenance of a word or phrase. Suggestions will be debated on the new series of Balderdash and Piffle, the BBC Two lexicology programme.

Here's the current entry for stiletto.

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