Biting Remark to Blackfoot
Biting Remark (A ). A remark more biting than Zeno's. Nearchos ordered Zeno the philosopher to be
pounded to death in a mortar. When he had been pounded some time, he told Nearchos he had an
important secret to communicate to him; but, when the tyrant bent over the mortar to hear what Zeno
had to say, the dying man bit off his ear.
That would have been a biting jest.
Bitt To bitt the cable is to fasten it round the bitt or frame made for the purpose, and placed in the fore part of the vessel.
Bitten Imposed upon, let in, made to suffer loss. I was terribly bitten in that affair. I suffered great loss. To bite is to cheat or suffer retaliation. Thus, Pope says, The rogue was bit, he intended to cheat, but was himself taken in. The biter bit is the moral of Æsop's fable called The Viper and the File; and Goldsmith's mad dog, which, for some private ends, went mad and bit a man, but the biter was bit, for The man recovered of the bite, the dog it was that died.
Bitter End (The ). A outrance; with relentless hostility; also applied to affliction, as, she bore it to the bitter end, meaning to the last stroke of adverse fortune. All Thy waves have gone over me, but I have borne up under them to the bitter end. Here bitter end means the end of the rope. The bitter-end is a sea term meaning that part of the cable which is abaft the bitts. When there is no windlass the cables are fastened to bitts, that is, pieces of timber so called; and when a rope is payed out to the bitter- end, or to these pieces of timber, all of it is let out, and no more remains. However, we read in Prov. v. 4, Her end is bitter as wormwood, which, after all, may be the origin of the phrase.
Bittock A little bit; -ock as a diminutive is preserved in bull-ock, hill-ock, butt-ock, etc. A mile and a bittock is a mile and a little bit. (Sir Walter Scott: Guy Mannering, i.)
Biz in theatrical slang, means business. Good biz means full houses; but an actor's biz is quite another thing, meaning by-play. Thus, Hamlet trifling with Ophelia's fan, Lord Dundreary's hop, and so on, are the special business of the actor of the part. As a rule, the business is invented by the actor who creates the part, and is handed down by tradition.
Black for mourning was a Roman custom (Juvenal, x. 245) borrowed from the Egyptians.
Black (See under Colours for its symbolisms, etc.).
Black as a Newgate Knocker A Newgate knocker is the fringe or lock of hair which costermongers and thieves twist back towards the ear.
Black in the Face Extremely angry. The face discoloured with passion or distress.
Mr. Winkle pulled ... till he was black in the face.- Dickens: Pickwick Papers.
He swore himself black in the face.- Peter Pindar Wolcott .
Black is White (See Swear. )
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