Etymology
Advertisement
bowie knife (n.)

"heavy-single-edged sheath-knife used early 19c. on the U.S. frontier," 1827, named for its inventor, U.S. fighter and frontiersman Col. James "Jim" Bowie (1799-1836), and properly pronounced "boo-ee."

Related entries & more 
Advertisement
bully pulpit (n.)

"public office or position regarded as an opportunity to speak out on an issue or issues," 1904, coined by U.S. president Theodore Roosevelt, in reference to the White House. See bully (v.) + pulpit.

Related entries & more 
red cross (n.)

early 15c. as the national emblem of England (St. George's Cross), also the badge of the Order of the Temple. Hence red-cross knight, one bearing such a marking on shield or crest. In 17c., a red cross was the mark placed on the doors of London houses infected with the plague. The red cross was adopted as a symbol of ambulance service in 1864 by the Geneva Conference, and the Red Cross Society (later also, in Muslim lands, Red Crescent) philanthropic organization was founded to carry out the views of the 1864 conference as well as other works of relief.

Related entries & more 
a priori 

1710, "from cause to effect," a Latin term in logic from c. 1300, in reference to reasoning from antecedent to consequent, based on causes and first principles, literally "from what comes first," from priori, ablative of prior "first" (see prior (adj.)). Opposed to a posteriori. Since c. 1840, based on Kant, used more loosely for "cognitions which, though they may come to us in experience, have their origin in the nature of the mind, and are independent of experience" [Century Dictionary]. Related: Apriorist; apriorism; aprioristic. The a is the usual form of Latin ab "off, of, away from" before consonants (see ab-).

Related entries & more 
silver lining (n.)

a "bright side" which proverbially accompanies even the darkest trouble; by 1843, apparently from oft-quoted lines from Milton's "Comus," where the silver lining is the light of the moon shining from behind the cloud.

Was I deceived? or did a sable cloud
Turn forth her silver lining on the night?
I did not err, there does a sable cloud,
Turn out her silver lining on the night
And casts a gleam over this tufted grove.

Thomas Warton added the commentary: "When all succour ſeems to be lost, Heaven unexpectedly presents the ſilver lining oſ a ſable cloud to the virtuous."

Related entries & more 
Advertisement
pro forma 

also proforma, Latin, literally "for form's sake, by way of formality;" from pro (prep.) "on behalf of" (see pro-) + formā, ablative of forma (see form (n.)). A pro forma invoice is one sent to the purchaser in advance of the ordered goods.

Related entries & more 
au pair (n.)

1897 of the arrangement whereby a young woman from abroad helps with housework or child care in exchange for room and board; by 1960 in reference to the woman; French, literally "on an equal footing" (see au + pair (n.)).

Related entries & more 
ad valorem 

type of customs duties based on the market value of goods at the original place of shipment, 1711, Modern Latin, "(in proportion) to the value," from ad "to" (see ad-) + Late Latin valorem, accusative of valor "value" (see value (n.)). Sometimes abbreviated ad val.

Related entries & more 
post restante 

direction on mail that it be held at that post office until called for, French, literally "remaining post." Hence, place in a post office where letters so addressed are kept until the recipients call for them.

Related entries & more 
go off (v.)

1570s, of firearms, etc., "explode, be discharged;" see go (v.) + off (adv.); meaning "depart" is c. 1600; that of "deteriorate in condition" is from 1690s; that of "reprimand" is from 1941 (originally with at, since c. 2000 more often with on).

Related entries & more 

Page 5