Etymology

Etymology

I have a passion and fascination with language, especially the etymology of words and phrases.

I don't intend to replace any dictionary or other source, but here are some of the origins that I have picked up since starting this site.

Word or Phrase Meaning or Etymology
Window ‘Window’ was a gift from the Vikings, whose word for a hole in a wall or roof was ‘vindauga’: ‘eye of the wind’. Before ‘window’, the Anglo-Saxons used ‘eye-thirl’, in which ‘thirl’ meant ‘hole’: hence ‘nose-thirls’ or ‘nostrils’, ‘nose holes’
Slideshow As in PowerPoint etc. Slideshows - They come from photographic slides which were cellophane miniature pictures that you used a projector to shine through to project the photo onto a screen (or wall). A circular carousel of slides was often brought out after people's holidays where they would bore you silly with their holiday snaps in a Slide Show...
Butler The term Butler came from the French 'Bottlier', who was the person who bottled the King's wine.
Starter for ten Your starter for 10 was a catchphrase used in the television quiz, University Challenge, where the host begins a round of questions for 10 points each.
Does what it says on the tin The quote is actually Does exactly what it says on the tin from the Ronseal advertising campaign which ran from 1994 to 2016(!), where the product purportedly did exactly what it said on the tin. It is now a common UK idiomatic phrase.
Pompatus From the nonce word used by Steve Miller famously in his hit "The Joker" from 1973.

The lyrics of "The Joker" include the quatrain:

Some people call me the space cowboy.
Yeah! Some call me the gangster of love.
Some people call me Maurice,
'Cause I speak of the pompatus of love.

Reference: Wikipedia
Police / Policeman / Politician From the Greek for city. From this, we get metropolis, meaning large city, and then obviously the shortened, Metro. A man of the city was a polisman and from there we get police. The leaders of the city became politicians
The Rule of Thumb The space from the tip of your thumb to the knuckle is about an inch - as a rule of thumb.
Forty Two In Guttenberg's Printing Press, the two columns of the bible text that he first printed were 42 characters wide. Could this be why 42 is the answer to life, the universe and everything? The printed word?
Sorts / Sorted / Those sorts of things, etc. In Guttenberg's Printing Press, the boxes or cases of letters in alphabetical order were called sorts. If you were missing a couple of letters, you were out of sorts.
Minding your Ps and Qs In Guttenberg's Printing Press, the letters had to be carved backwards so that they may appear in the correct orientation when pressed onto paper. When sorting the letters in the font cases, you had to be especially careful to get the Ps and Qs the correct way around.
Uppercase / Lowercase In Guttenberg's Printing Press, the letters were put in cases, called sorts and the capital letter were stored in the uppercase, whilst the small letters were stored in the lowercase.
Wharf

Having told lots of people about WHARF, the acronym, over the last couple of days, I did some basic scratching and it looks like Wikipedia is correct.

It says One explanation is that the word wharf comes from the Old English warft or the Old Dutch word werf, which both evolved to mean "yard", an outdoor place where work is done, like a shipyard (Dutch: scheepswerf) or a lumberyard (Dutch: houtwerf). and This could explain the name Ministry Wharf located at Saunderton, just outside High Wycombe, which is nowhere near any body of water.

Also, I found: it’s from Old English and Germanic hwearf, meaning heap or embankment and also to turn.

Which if you follow down the links, goes to wharve.

Nickelodeon An obvious starting word - purely because I'm babysitting and have Nickelodeon on the TV.
Odeon Cinemas used to show Saturday morning cartoons for kids for 5c - It was called the Nickel Odeon.