Touch At to Tracy
Touch At (To). To go to a place without stopping at it.
The next day we touched at Sidon.- Acts xxvii. 3.
Touch Bottom (To). To know the worst. A sea-phrase.
It is much better for the ministry to touch bottom at once and know the whole truth, than to remain any longer in suspense.- Newspaper paragraph, January, 1886.
Touch Up (To). To touch a horse with a whip for greater speed. To touch up a picture, etc., is to give it a few touches to improve it.
Touch and Go (A). A very narrow escape; a very brief encounter. A metaphor derived from driving when the wheel of one vehicle touches that of another passing vehicle without doing mischief. It was a touch, but neither vehicle was stopped, each went on its way.
Touchet When Charles IX. introduced Henri of Navarre to Marie Touchet, he requested him to make an anagram on her name, and Henri thereupon wrote the following:- Je charme tout.
Touchstone A dark, flinty schist, called by the ancients Lapis Lydius; called touchstone because gold
is tried by it, thus: A series of needles are formed (1) of pure gold; (2) of 23 gold and 1 copper; (3) of 22
gold and 2 copper, and so on. The assayer selects one of these and rubs it on the touchstone, when
it leaves a reddish mark in proportion to the quantity of copper alloy. Dr. Ure says: In such small work
as cannot be assayed ... the assayers; ... ascertain its quality by `touch.' They then compare the colour
left behind, and form their judgment accordingly.
Gold is tried by the touchstone, and men by gold.- Bacon.Touchstone. A clown whose mouth is filled with quips and cranks and witty repartees. (Shakespeare: As You Like It.) The original one was Tarlton.
Touchy Apt to take offence on slight provocation. Ne touchez pas, Noli me tangere, one not to be touched.
Tour The Grand Tour. Through France, Switzerland, Italy, and home by Germany. Before railways were laid down, this tour was made by most of the young aristocratic families as the finish of their education. Those who merely went to France or Germany were simply tourists.
Tour de Force A feat of strength.
Tourlourou Young unfledged soldiers of the line, who used to be called Jean-Jean.
Les Tourlourous sont les nouveaux enroles, ceux qui n'ont pas encore de vieilles moustaches, et qui flanent sur les boulevards en regardant les images, les paillasses, et en cherchant des payses.- Paul de Kock: Un Tourlourou, chap. xiii.
Tournament or Tournay. A tilt of knights; the chief art of the game being so to manoeuvre or turn
your horse as to avoid the adversary's blow. (French, tournoiement, verb, tournoyer.)
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