a list of words that are only ever used in one phrase and one phrase only

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1. fro - "to and fro"

JZ, Tuesday, 23 August 2005 14:13 (fifteen years ago) link

2. petard - "hoisted on your own etc."

Jordan (Jordan), Tuesday, 23 August 2005 14:16 (fifteen years ago) link

Tony Robinson did a whole special the other day where he demonstrated what a petard was.

(And actually, it has two meanings - one for people involved in medieval warfare, and another on ships!)

I Dream Of Sleep (kate), Tuesday, 23 August 2005 14:19 (fifteen years ago) link

It's a kind of mediaeval grenade is it?

Dadaismus (Dada), Tuesday, 23 August 2005 14:20 (fifteen years ago) link

http://www.merlinnj.com/shop/media/holy_hand_grenade.jpg

g-kit (g-kit), Tuesday, 23 August 2005 14:21 (fifteen years ago) link

pyrrhic - as in 'pyrrhic victory'

Bob Six (bobbysix), Tuesday, 23 August 2005 14:31 (fifteen years ago) link

jetsam
morans

Haikunym (Haikunym), Tuesday, 23 August 2005 14:39 (fifteen years ago) link

"willy nilly"

elmo (allocryptic), Tuesday, 23 August 2005 14:39 (fifteen years ago) link

2. petard - "hoisted on your own etc."

Funny, I was trying to come up with a list like this a couple years ago with a friend of mine, and this is the first one we came up with, I think.

jaymc (jaymc), Tuesday, 23 August 2005 14:40 (fifteen years ago) link

woogie. (boogie woogie)

auk (auk and style)

mark grout (mark grout), Tuesday, 23 August 2005 14:42 (fifteen years ago) link

Wasn't an Auk an extinct type of bird? (Or am I thinking Auroc, which is an animal anyway.)

I Dream Of Sleep (kate), Tuesday, 23 August 2005 14:43 (fifteen years ago) link

I knew I was right!

http://www.gutenberg.org/dirs/1/1/0/7/11073/11073-h/images/auk.jpg

I Dream Of Sleep (kate), Tuesday, 23 August 2005 14:44 (fifteen years ago) link

The great auk is extinct, but there are still plenty of other auks around.

NickB (NickB), Tuesday, 23 August 2005 14:46 (fifteen years ago) link

unrequited

autovac (autovac), Tuesday, 23 August 2005 14:47 (fifteen years ago) link

(Actually the list I was trying to construct was more specifically words that were once in common usage but only exist now in an idiomatic context.)

jaymc (jaymc), Tuesday, 23 August 2005 14:52 (fifteen years ago) link

'vim and vigour'
'spic and span'

NickB (NickB), Tuesday, 23 August 2005 14:55 (fifteen years ago) link

'sleight of hand'
'fleet of foot' (in that sense of the word anyhow)

NickB (NickB), Tuesday, 23 August 2005 15:02 (fifteen years ago) link

pale and wan

mark grout (mark grout), Tuesday, 23 August 2005 15:02 (fifteen years ago) link

'and never the TWAIN shall meet'

Sociah T Azzahole (blueski), Tuesday, 23 August 2005 15:03 (fifteen years ago) link

'as is my WONT'

Sociah T Azzahole (blueski), Tuesday, 23 August 2005 15:03 (fifteen years ago) link

I don't agree about 'wan' - I use it and have heard it used alone quite frequently.

Archel (Archel), Tuesday, 23 August 2005 15:05 (fifteen years ago) link

I don't agree about 'wan' - I use it and have heard it used alone quite frequently.

Well, you *are* on a Belle and Sebastian mailing list...

I Dream Of Sleep (kate), Tuesday, 23 August 2005 15:08 (fifteen years ago) link

Hue and cry

beanz (beanz), Tuesday, 23 August 2005 15:09 (fifteen years ago) link

hatch-"down the hatch" (not in the context of eggs)
render-"render unto Caesar what is Caesar's..."

jocelyn (Jocelyn), Tuesday, 23 August 2005 15:09 (fifteen years ago) link

(xpost) zing!

jaymc (jaymc), Tuesday, 23 August 2005 15:09 (fifteen years ago) link

'woe betide'
'kith and kin'

NickB (NickB), Tuesday, 23 August 2005 15:11 (fifteen years ago) link

I always thought that "profusely" had a limited usage, in that I would wager that 80% of the time, it's used with one of the following words: cry, sweat, bleed, apologize, and thank.

jaymc (jaymc), Tuesday, 23 August 2005 15:12 (fifteen years ago) link

haha, bloody poets showing up and saying "Nah, 'wan' is in common use"! (xpost to Archel)

Martin Skidmore (Martin Skidmore), Tuesday, 23 August 2005 15:13 (fifteen years ago) link

'rent asunder'

NickB (NickB), Tuesday, 23 August 2005 15:13 (fifteen years ago) link

(did I spell that right?)

NickB (NickB), Tuesday, 23 August 2005 15:14 (fifteen years ago) link

'stark naked'

NickB (NickB), Tuesday, 23 August 2005 15:16 (fifteen years ago) link

cleave (in the sense of join, not split) "cleave to one's principles"

jocelyn (Jocelyn), Tuesday, 23 August 2005 15:18 (fifteen years ago) link

Ha ha Nick just reminded me of one of Billy Connelly's finest

Teacher: Woe betide the boy who plays football instead of coming into class

Young Billy: Who's this fucking Woby? He's got the right idea!

(or words to that effect)

Rumpea, Tuesday, 23 August 2005 15:18 (fifteen years ago) link

"Render" is not uncommon.

elmo (allocryptic), Tuesday, 23 August 2005 15:19 (fifteen years ago) link

The quick and the dead – quick as in alive
Hold fast – fast as in, er, not moving at all

beanz (beanz), Tuesday, 23 August 2005 15:20 (fifteen years ago) link

You use a derivative of fast still - as in fasten.

I Dream Of Sleep (kate), Tuesday, 23 August 2005 15:22 (fifteen years ago) link

Duh

beanz (beanz), Tuesday, 23 August 2005 15:23 (fifteen years ago) link

I guess I meant render in the sense of "to pay", the whole action, not using "render payment" which is redundant.

jocelyn (Jocelyn), Tuesday, 23 August 2005 15:24 (fifteen years ago) link

Brimstone
Mickle, muckle
Hale

Markelby (Mark C), Tuesday, 23 August 2005 15:25 (fifteen years ago) link

'Hale', of course, is usually used in conjunction with 'twat'.

http://www.20six.co.uk/pub/channel26/hale_and_pace2.jpg

beanz (beanz), Tuesday, 23 August 2005 15:31 (fifteen years ago) link

After the 'wan' thing I just shouldn't say that I use 'hale' and 'brimstone', should I?

Archel (Archel), Tuesday, 23 August 2005 15:33 (fifteen years ago) link

Hale, Satan

Sociah T Azzahole (blueski), Tuesday, 23 August 2005 15:35 (fifteen years ago) link

Hoist on his own petard is from Hamlet, right?

Pétard in French is slang for a joint.

M. White (Miguelito), Tuesday, 23 August 2005 15:40 (fifteen years ago) link

"For 'tis the sport to have the enginer / Hoist with his owne
petar"
Shakespeare, Hamlet III iv.

"Hoist" was in Shakespeare's time the past participles of a verb "to hoise", which meant what "to hoist" does now: to lift. A petard (see under "peter out" for the etymology) was an explosive charge detonated by a slowly burning fuse. If the petard went off prematurely, then the sapper (military engineer; Shakespeare's "enginer") who planted it would be hurled into the air by the explosion. (Compare "up" in "to blow up".) A modern rendition might be: "It's fun to see the engineer blown up with his own bomb."

Hello Sunshine (Hello Sunshine), Tuesday, 23 August 2005 16:16 (fifteen years ago) link

cleave

the only word in the english languaged that means one thing and also its opposite.

poortheatre (poortheatre), Tuesday, 23 August 2005 16:37 (fifteen years ago) link

nah, there's loads

Slumpman (Slump Man), Tuesday, 23 August 2005 17:23 (fifteen years ago) link

eke!

Huk-L (Huk-L), Tuesday, 23 August 2005 17:28 (fifteen years ago) link

quench

When is it ever used not in conjunction with "thurst" ?

JTS, Tuesday, 23 August 2005 19:57 (fifteen years ago) link

short SHRIFT
out of KILTER

Si.C@rter (SiC@rter), Tuesday, 23 August 2005 20:08 (fifteen years ago) link

.cx

LeCoq (LeCoq), Tuesday, 23 August 2005 20:11 (fifteen years ago) link

"Boob tube" in America means TV, yes, but only someone over age 60 would use that term in that way. We say "tube top" for the garment.

Josefa, Thursday, 26 May 2016 08:52 (five years ago) link

... but only someone over age 60 would wear one.

Larry 'Leg' Smith (Tom D.), Thursday, 26 May 2016 08:53 (five years ago) link

You should come to Brooklyn

Josefa, Thursday, 26 May 2016 08:55 (five years ago) link

The high water mark of "boob tube" was probably the 70s, so "over age 60" is a little exaggerated, but it's not a current hip hep and happening phrase. It is definitely generally understandable still. "The tube" for tv is probably a little more in use, but then again tvs aren't as in use as they used to be.

Three Word Username, Thursday, 26 May 2016 10:05 (five years ago) link

Genuinely surprising that there's no porn streaming site called BoobTube.

Eyeball Kicks, Thursday, 26 May 2016 11:18 (five years ago) link

"Boob Tube"? You don't mean "Goggle Box" ?

Mark G, Thursday, 26 May 2016 11:40 (five years ago) link

Wit in "To wit"

Larry 'Leg' Smith (Tom D.), Thursday, 26 May 2016 11:45 (five years ago) link

two years pass...

Raring in 'Raring to go'?

Alan Alba (Tom D.), Thursday, 12 July 2018 17:58 (three years ago) link

six months pass...

I don't think I even quoted it secondhand. Actually, my students want Maduro gone, and I've seen the strange-bedfellows approach b/w the Trump administration and the parents of the students who have no butter or meat.

― Your sweetie-pie-coo-coo I love ya (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Sunday, 10 February 2019 01:04 (forty-eight minutes ago) Bookmark Flag Post Permalink

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kq7LM4rOcV4

Wee boats wobble but they don't fall down (Tom D.), Sunday, 10 February 2019 01:54 (two years ago) link

druthers

ɪmˈpəʊzɪŋ (darraghmac), Sunday, 10 February 2019 03:08 (two years ago) link

seems like the word 'fraught' is accompanied by 'with danger' at least 95% of the time. partly to be perverse, I like to dislodge it from danger and use it in other contexts.

A is for (Aimless), Sunday, 10 February 2019 04:23 (two years ago) link

i rarely use fraught in the "with danger" context. I use it as a replacement for "problematic" which has semantically shifted in recent years.

sarahell, Sunday, 10 February 2019 05:08 (two years ago) link

Only pools are limpid.
― weather1ngda1eson (Brian)

only green is limpid

the scientology of mountains (rushomancy), Sunday, 10 February 2019 12:16 (two years ago) link

just read this wonderful malapropism:

"These guys covered the gamete with Rock N’ Roll, Blues, R&B and splendid jams."

which reminds me that mature haploid cells aside, the gamut is only ever run.

the scientology of mountains (rushomancy), Sunday, 10 February 2019 15:20 (two years ago) link

three months pass...

Damsel in distress.

Ned Caligari (Tom D.), Tuesday, 21 May 2019 07:08 (two years ago) link

one year passes...

Swingeing cuts.

Boring blighters bloaters (Tom D.), Thursday, 19 November 2020 12:08 (eight months ago) link

three months pass...

The ides of march.

visiting, Monday, 1 March 2021 16:00 (four months ago) link

two months pass...

bandy around

I was born anxious, here's how to do it. (ledge), Friday, 7 May 2021 09:35 (two months ago) link

bandy about

bobo honkin' slobo babe (sic), Friday, 7 May 2021 09:56 (two months ago) link

bandy words with

Number None, Friday, 7 May 2021 09:59 (two months ago) link

'about' - same thing
'words with' - i'll allow it.

I was born anxious, here's how to do it. (ledge), Friday, 7 May 2021 10:08 (two months ago) link

slake

One Of The Bad Guys (Tracer Hand), Friday, 7 May 2021 11:55 (two months ago) link

bandy-legged

bobo honkin' slobo babe (sic), Friday, 7 May 2021 12:14 (two months ago) link

lol, just watched an episode of Survivor where someone was called a "bandy-legged troll" last night

Bobo Honk, real name, no gimmicks (Doctor Casino), Friday, 7 May 2021 12:34 (two months ago) link

fun thread, btw!

Bobo Honk, real name, no gimmicks (Doctor Casino), Friday, 7 May 2021 12:39 (two months ago) link

For a second I considered that "wreak" was only used with "havoc." On reconsidering I think you can also wreak vengeance.

Triumph of the Willa Cather (Ye Mad Puffin), Friday, 7 May 2021 12:44 (two months ago) link

"And that's Bent Coppers."

the pinefox, Friday, 7 May 2021 13:00 (two months ago) link

"score" in the numerical sense is pretty rare outside of "Four score and seven years ago" but occasionally I guess you see people writing "scores of ___."

longtime caller, first time listener (man alive), Friday, 7 May 2021 15:27 (two months ago) link

I think "wrought" is only used in two phrases, each with a somewhat different sense of "wrought" -- "What hath god wrought" and "wrought iron"

longtime caller, first time listener (man alive), Friday, 7 May 2021 15:30 (two months ago) link

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Well_Wrought_Urn

the pinefox, Friday, 7 May 2021 15:35 (two months ago) link

all that glisters is not gold

sharpening the contraindications (Aimless), Friday, 7 May 2021 16:43 (two months ago) link

Been a long time since I heard "doth" without "protest too much."

Triumph of the Willa Cather (Ye Mad Puffin), Friday, 7 May 2021 16:52 (two months ago) link

Figgy

Andy the Grasshopper, Friday, 7 May 2021 16:53 (two months ago) link

would "overwrought" count for "wrought" ?

Bobo Honk, real name, no gimmicks (Doctor Casino), Friday, 7 May 2021 17:34 (two months ago) link

the wrought’s set in

One Of The Bad Guys (Tracer Hand), Friday, 7 May 2021 17:43 (two months ago) link

wrought you like a hurricane

Andy the Grasshopper, Friday, 7 May 2021 17:46 (two months ago) link

seems like the only time anyone is wroth anymore, it's that they've been waxing wroth

sharpening the contraindications (Aimless), Friday, 7 May 2021 17:48 (two months ago) link

This is a story of Johnny Wroughten

Triumph of the Willa Cather (Ye Mad Puffin), Friday, 7 May 2021 17:49 (two months ago) link

Xp

Triumph of the Willa Cather (Ye Mad Puffin), Friday, 7 May 2021 17:49 (two months ago) link

Nook and cranny. Nooks can exist on their own but there's never a cranny without a nook.

BrianB, Thursday, 13 May 2021 13:27 (two months ago) link

A tempest can seemingly only exist in a teapot.

henry s, Thursday, 13 May 2021 13:57 (two months ago) link

cranny is a great one... i feel like tempests are a bit more prominent thanks to Shakespeare, the arcade game, tempestuous feelings, etc.

Bobo Honk, real name, no gimmicks (Doctor Casino), Thursday, 13 May 2021 16:09 (two months ago) link

There is no Bob Dylan album titled "Cranny", as of May 13th, 2021.

Are Animated Dads Getting Hotter? (Tom D.), Thursday, 13 May 2021 16:19 (two months ago) link

two months pass...

Handbasket

Piven After Midnight (The Yellow Kid), Monday, 19 July 2021 22:07 (one week ago) link

yes, in famous saying "a stitch in time saves handbasket"

making splashes at Dan Flashes (Neanderthal), Monday, 19 July 2021 22:12 (one week ago) link

“de-exhuming”, as used in the phrase “Can We Try De-Exhuming McCarthy, US Politics July 2021”

tean mean poleand cheaseang theas means hamseak feasts (breastcrawl), Monday, 19 July 2021 22:15 (one week ago) link

'Weft' would be nothing without 'warp'

Hideous Lump, Monday, 19 July 2021 22:27 (one week ago) link

"soulwinner"

making splashes at Dan Flashes (Neanderthal), Monday, 19 July 2021 22:37 (one week ago) link


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