Etymology
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stare decisis (n.)

the legal doctrine of being bound by precedents, Latin, literally "to stand by things decided;" from stare "to stand" (from PIE root *sta- "to stand, make or be firm"). Second element from decidere "to decide, determine," literally "to cut off," from de- "off" (see de-) + caedere "to cut" (see -cide).

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whole cloth (n.)
early 15c., "piece of cloth of full size," as opposed to a piece cut out for a garment; figurative sense first attested 1570s.
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ditty bag (n.)

"small bag used by sailors for needles, thread, scissors, thimble, etc.," 1828, nautical slang, of uncertain origin, perhaps from the alleged British naval phrase commodity bag. Hence also ditty-box (1841).

Every true man-of-war's man knows how to cut out clothing with as much ease, and producing as correct a fit, as the best tailor. This is a necessity on board ship, for the ready-made clothing procured of the purser is never known to fit, being generally manufactured several sizes larger than necessary, in order that it may be re-cut and made in good style. [Charles Nordhoff, "The Young Man-of-War's Man," 1866]
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Gordian knot (n.)
1560s, tied by Gordius (Greek Gordios), first king of Phrygia in Asia Minor and father of Midas, who predicted the one to loosen it would rule Asia. Instead, Alexander the Great cut the Gordian knot with his sword; hence the extended sense (1570s in English) "solve a difficult problem in a quick, dramatic way."
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etaoin shrdlu 
1931, journalism slang, the sequence of characters you get if you sweep your finger down the two left-hand columns of Linotype keys, which is what typesetters did when they bungled a line and had to start it over. It was a signal to cut out the sentence, but sometimes it slipped past harried compositors and ended up in print.
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