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Dear Word Detective: I was recently given a piece or work to sub which contained the phrase "screaming ab-dabs." Thinking to just check on the hyphen (and also, I had thought it might be "habdabs"), I then discovered that the term wasn't to be found in any of my dictionaries and the internet was no help either in confirming which way the word was to be spelled, hyphen or no, or where the phrase came from. I can tell by your email address that you work for the BBC, and I presume that by "sub" as a verb you mean "sub-editing," what we in the US call "copyediting," checking text for errors, consistency of style, etc.This column has no copy editor on the premises, which is why our motto has always been "Any typos found are yours to keep." To begin at the beginning, the form "ab-dabs" is indeed the standard spelling, although "habdabs" is also common.And even the English game of "draughts" (known in the U. as "checkers") is so-called from the movement of pieces pulled across the playing board. At the end of the war it occurred to Wulff that the burn treatment he had invented might make a dandy beauty cream in the civilian market.
But every few minutes he would stop playing, look around the room and start to cry.
He obviously missed his siblings, but there was nothing more we could do.
A draft from a window is "pulled through" the opening, a bank draft is pulled from your account, and a ship's "draft" is the amount of water it displaces (a vague sense of "pull"). It wasn't until this year, while I was writing "From Altoids to Zima," a book of trade name origins (to be published by Simon & Schuster this coming September), that I finally thought to go looking for the answer to the Great Olay Mystery. It seems that there never was any such thing as an "Olay." In fact, the mystery goop wasn't even called "Oil of Olay" at first.
A draft in writing, art or architecture is an early form "pulled" mid-process to indicate the final product. I remember hearing those commercials and wondering what an "olay" was. What eventually became "Oil of Olay" was developed during World War II by a South African chemist named Graham Gordon Wulff to help military burn victims heal by preventing their skin from becoming dehydrated.
I easily snagged the Siamese-looking one, but the little striped one bolted back into the bushes.
So midnight found me crawling through rusty barbed wire and poison ivy with a flashlight and a plate of Fancy Feast.
Elsewhere in the news, I was wandering around the yard two weeks ago, and in the small wood that borders our northern field I found three small kittens, one orange, one brown striped, and one Siamese-looking, mewing piteously.
So I gave them some food and water, but when I checked back later they were gone. A few days later, elsewhere in the yard, the orange kitten emerged alone from the underbrush and began following me around, so I took him inside and gave him food, and a day later took him to the vet for a checkup.
The senses of "draft" you mention are all derived from the root sense of the word when it appeared in English in the 13th century, "the act of pulling," most likely derived from the prehistoric Germanic verb "dragan," also the source of our modern "drag" and "draw." Believe it or not, all the senses of "draft" you mention are elaborations of that basic "pulling" sense.
Draft beer is pulled from kegs, draft horses pull stuff, the military draft "pulls in" civilians, and a draft of drink is pulled from the bottle, as is a dose of medicine. The cry of a bullfighter who spies wrinkles in the mirror?
The Oxford English Dictionary lists more than 50 definitions of "draught" and "draft." Dear Word Detective: For years I have been wondering what an "olay" is, as in "Oil of Olay," the "mysterious beauty fluid" they used to advertise on radio and TV. First, of course, they needed a name, and after some thought came up with "Oil of Ulay." That's "Ulay," not "Olay." As more and more people bought it and asked what "Ulay" was, Wulff and Lowe realized that the mystery of their product's name was one of its strongest selling points, and "the mysterious beauty fluid" shtick was born.Tags: Adult Dating, affair dating, sex dating