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10

Edited by John Ayto and Ian Crofton.

in Brewer's Dictionary of Modern Phrase & Fable

January 2009; p ublished online January 2011 .

Reference Entry. Subjects: History of English. 36 words.

A comedy film (1979) starring Dudley Moore as a sexually obsessed middle-aged composer who marks his girls 1

1984

Edited by John Ayto and Ian Crofton.

in Brewer's Dictionary of Modern Phrase & Fable

January 2009; p ublished online January 2011 .

Reference Entry. Subjects: History of English. 215 words.

A year of the 20th century long regarded as apocalyptic and entered as such in the Oxford English Dictionary.

24/7

Edited by John Ayto and Ian Crofton.

in Brewer's Dictionary of Modern Phrase & Fable

January 2009; p ublished online January 2011 .

Reference Entry. Subjects: History of English. 58 words.

Every day; all the time. The reference is to something that occurs or is available 24 hours a day, seven

4′ 33′′

Edited by John Ayto and Ian Crofton.

in Brewer's Dictionary of Modern Phrase & Fable

January 2009; p ublished online January 2011 .

Reference Entry. Subjects: History of English. 96 words.

A controversial and certainly unusual work by the US composer John Cage (1912–92), scored for any instrument or

404

Edited by John Ayto and Ian Crofton.

in Brewer's Dictionary of Modern Phrase & Fable

January 2009; p ublished online January 2011 .

Reference Entry. Subjects: History of English. 31 words.

A slang term for someone who is clueless. It derives from the World Wide Web error message ‘404 not found’,

42

Edited by John Ayto and Ian Crofton.

in Brewer's Dictionary of Modern Phrase & Fable

January 2009; p ublished online January 2011 .

Reference Entry. Subjects: History of English. 7 words.

4×4

Edited by John Ayto and Ian Crofton.

in Brewer's Dictionary of Modern Phrase & Fable

January 2009; p ublished online January 2011 .

Reference Entry. Subjects: History of English. 98 words.

Shorthand for ‘four by four’, as a colloquialism for a four-wheel drive vehicle, i.e. one that provides power directly from

7/7

Edited by John Ayto and Ian Crofton.

in Brewer's Dictionary of Modern Phrase & Fable

January 2009; p ublished online January 2011 .

Reference Entry. Subjects: History of English. 153 words.

The designation given by the press to the London bombings of 7 July 2005, on the model of 9/11

7:84

Edited by John Ayto and Ian Crofton.

in Brewer's Dictionary of Modern Phrase & Fable

January 2009; p ublished online January 2011 .

Reference Entry. Subjects: History of English. 55 words.

A radical touring theatre company founded in 1971 by the left-wing British playwright John McGrath (1935–2002). The name

9/11

Edited by John Ayto and Ian Crofton.

in Brewer's Dictionary of Modern Phrase & Fable

January 2009; p ublished online January 2011 .

Reference Entry. Subjects: History of English. 219 words.

The predominant shorthand way of referring to September 11 2001, the day on which Al-Qaida launched airborne attacks on the

99

Edited by John Ayto and Ian Crofton.

in Brewer's Dictionary of Modern Phrase & Fable

January 2009; p ublished online January 2011 .

Reference Entry. Subjects: History of English. 43 words.

An ice cream with a chocolate flake in it. The ‘99’ was originally so called because the flake it carried

999

Edited by John Ayto and Ian Crofton.

in Brewer's Dictionary of Modern Phrase & Fable

January 2009; p ublished online January 2011 .

Reference Entry. Subjects: History of English. 123 words.

In Britain and Ireland the telephone number for summoning the emergency services (police, ambulance or fire brigade). It was introduced

A

Edited by Susie Dent.

in Brewer's Dictionary of Phrase & Fable

January 2012; p ublished online January 2013 .

Reference Entry. Subjects: History of English. 170 words.

This letter evolved from the Hebrew and Phoenician character known as aleph, ‘ox’, supposedly because it originally represented an

a-

Edited by T. F. Hoad.

in The Concise Oxford Dictionary of English Etymology

January 1996; p ublished online January 2003 .

Reference Entry. Subjects: History of English. 35 words.

pref. of vbs., OE. ā-, orig. ar-, or- = OHG. ar-, ir-, ur- (G. er-

a

Edited by T. F. Hoad.

in The Concise Oxford Dictionary of English Etymology

January 1996; p ublished online January 2003 .

Reference Entry. Subjects: History of English. 32 words.

reduced form of AN used since XII immed. before a word beginning with a cons. For the loss of

A

Edited by T. F. Hoad.

in The Concise Oxford Dictionary of English Etymology

January 1996; p ublished online January 2003 .

Reference Entry. Subjects: History of English. 27 words.

used in the symbol A1, applied in Lloyd's Register to ships in first-class condition in respect of hull (A)

a-

Edited by T. F. Hoad.

in The Concise Oxford Dictionary of English Etymology

January 1996; p ublished online January 2003 .

Reference Entry. Subjects: History of English. 38 words.

reduced form of OF prep., as in afresh, akin, anew. Cf. †a clock (XV–XVIII), now

a-

Edited by T. F. Hoad.

in The Concise Oxford Dictionary of English Etymology

January 1996; p ublished online January 2003 .

Reference Entry. Subjects: History of English. 78 words.

reduced form of ON prep. (in late OE., but not gen. before XII); the first el. of many predicative adjs.

a

Edited by T. F. Hoad.

in The Concise Oxford Dictionary of English Etymology

January 1996; p ublished online January 2003 .

Reference Entry. Subjects: History of English. 33 words.

ME. o, a in a distributive sense, e.g. twice a day, reduced form of ON; surviving in

a-

Edited by T. F. Hoad.

in The Concise Oxford Dictionary of English Etymology

January 1996; p ublished online January 2003 .

Reference Entry. Subjects: History of English. 85 words.

pref. of negation and privation, repr. Gr. a- (before a vowel AN-) = UN-. Occurs in