Etymology
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ridicule (n.)

1670s, "absurd thing, object of mockery or contempt;" 1680s, "words or actions meant to invoke ridicule or excite laughter at someone's expense," from French ridicule, noun use of adjective (15c.), or from Latin ridiculum "laughing matter, a joke, a jest," noun use of neuter of ridiculus "laughable, funny, absurd," from ridere "to laugh" (see risible).

"He who brings ridicule to bear against truth, finds in his hand a blade without a hilt." [Walter Savage Landor, "Imaginary Conversations"]
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doff (v.)

"put or take off" an article of clothing, especially a hat or cap, late 14c., doffen, a contraction of do off, preserving the original sense of do as "put." At the time of Johnson's Dictionary [1755] the word was "obsolete, and rarely used except by rustics," and also in literature as a conscious archaism, but it was saved from extinction (along with don (v.)) by Sir Walter Scott. However, dout and dup did not survive. Related: Doffed; doffing.

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honorable (adj.)

mid-14c. (mid-13c. as a surname, Walter le Onorable, also known as Walter Honurable), "worthy of respect or reverence, respectable," also "signifying or rendering distinction or respect; ensuring good repute or honor," from Old French onorable, honorable "respectable, respectful, civil, courteous," from Latin honorabilis "that procures honor, estimable, honorable," from honorare "to honor," from honor (see honor (n.)). Meaning "honest, sincere, in good faith" is from 1540s; sense of "acting justly" is from c. 1600.

"Now, George, you must divide the cake honorably with your brother Charlie."—George: "What is 'honorably,' mother?" "It means that you must give him the largest piece."—George: "Then, mother, I should rather Charlie would cut it." ["Smart Sayings of Bright Children," collected by Howard Paul, 1886]

As an epithet before the name of a peer, Church or civil official, guild officer, etc., from c.1400. As a noun, "honorable person," late 14c. Alternative adjective honorous (Old French honoros) seems not to have survived Middle English. Related: Honorably; honorableness.

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POTUS (n.)

wire service acronym for president of the United States (or President of the United States). It is a survival from the Phillips Code, created 1879 by U.S. journalist Walter P. Phillips to speed up (and save money on) Morse code transmissions but obsolete from c. 1940 with the widespread use of teletype machines. The AP still uses it in wire slugs and it is affected occasionally by those seeking to establish journalistic credibility. Other Phillips Code survivals include SCOTUS for "Supreme Court of the United States."

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derring-do (n.)

"daring deeds, daring action," 1570s, originally (late 14c.) dorrying don, literally "daring (to) do," from durring "daring," present participle of Middle English durren "to dare" (see dare (v.)) + don, infinitive of do (v.). Chaucer used it in passages where the sense was "daring to do" (what is proper to a brave knight). Misspelled derrynge do in 1500s and mistaken for a noun by Spenser, who took it to mean "manhood and chevalrie;" picked up from him and passed on to Romantic poets as a pseudo-archaism by Sir Walter Scott.

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expletive (n.)

1610s, "a word or phrase serving to fill out a sentence or metrical line," from French explétif (15c.) and directly from Late Latin expletivus "serving to fill out," from explet- past-participle stem of Latin explere "fill out, fill up, glut," from ex- "out" (see ex-) + plere "to fill" (from PIE root *pele- (1) "to fill").

Sense of "an exclamation," especially "a curse word, an oath," first recorded 1815 in Sir Walter Scott, popularized by edited transcripts of Watergate tapes (mid-1970s), in which expletive deleted replaced President Nixon's salty expressions. As an adjective, from 1660s.

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consecrate (v.)

late 14c., "make or declare sacred by certain ceremonies or rites," from Latin consecratus, past participle of consecrare "to make holy, devote," from assimilated form of com "with, together" (see con-) + sacrare "to make or declare sacred" (see sacred). Meaning "to devote or dedicate from profound feeling" is from 1550s. Related: Consecrated; consecrating.

Ah, what avails the sceptred race!   
  Ah, what the form divine!   
What every virtue, every grace!   
  Rose Aylmer, all were thine.   
  
Rose Aylmer, whom these wakeful eyes
  May weep, but never see,   
A night of memories and sighs   
  I consecrate to thee.
[Walter Savage Landor]
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prow (n.)

"forepart of a ship," 1550s, from French proue, from Italian (Genoese) prua, from Vulgar Latin *proda, by dissimilation from Latin prora "prow," from Greek prōira "bow of a ship," which is related to pro "before, forward," proi "early in the morning" (from PIE root *per- (1) "forward," hence "in front of, before, first").

Middle English and early Modern English (and Sir Walter Scott) had prore in same sense, from Latin. Modern Italian has proda only in sense "shore, bank." Prow and poop meant "the whole ship," hence 16c.-17c. figurative use of the expression for "the whole" (of anything).

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colossus (n.)

"gigantic statue," late 14c., from Latin colossus "a statue larger than life," from Greek kolossos "gigantic statue," which is of unknown origin. The Greek word was used by Herodotus of giant Egyptian statues and by Romans of the bronze Helios at the entrance to the harbor of Rhodes. Figurative sense of "any thing of awesome greatness or vastness" is from 1794.

Helios, the sun, is a god everywhere; there was a scandal when Anaxagoras dared to call him a glowing clod. But the island of Rhodes is almost the only place where Helios enjoys an important cult; ... the largest Greek statue in bronze, the Colossus of Rhodes, is a representation of Helios. [Walter Burkert, "Greek Religion"]
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catbird (n.)

also cat-bird, 1731, common name for the North American thrush (Dumetella Carolinensis), so called from its warning cry, which resembles that of a cat; from cat (n.) + bird (n.1). Catbird seat is a late 19c. Dixieism, popularized by Brooklyn Dodgers baseball announcer Walter "Red" Barber (1908-1992) and by author James Thurber:

"She must be a Dodger fan," he had said. "Red Barber announces the Dodger games over the radio and he uses those expressions—picked 'em up down South." Joey had gone on to explain one or two. "Tearing up the pea patch" meant going on a rampage; "sitting in the catbird seat" means sitting pretty, like a batter with three balls and no strikes on him. [James Thurber, "The Catbird Seat," The New Yorker, Nov. 14, 1942]
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