Whittle to Wild
Whittle (A). A knife. (Anglo-Saxon kwytel, a knife; hwat, sharp or keen.)
Walter de Aldeham holds land of the king in the More, in the county of Salop, by the service of paying to the king yearly at his exchequer two knives [whittles], whereof one ought to be of that value or goodness that at the first stroke it would cut asunder in the middle a hasle-rod of a year's growth, and of the length of a cubit, which service ought to be ... on the morrow of St. Michael ... The said knives [whittles] to be delivered to the chamberlain to keep for the king's use.- Blount: Ancient Tenures.Whittle Down To cut away with a knife or whittle; to reduce; to encroach. In Cumberland, underpaid schoolmasters used to be allowed Whittle-gait - i.e. the privilege of knife and fork at the table of those who employ them.
The Americans whittled down the royal throne; whittled out a commonwealth; whittle down the forest trees; whittle out a railroad; whittle down to the thin end of nothing. (Saxon, hwytel, a large knife.)
We have whittled down our loss extremely, and will not allow a man more than 350 English slain out of 4,000.- Walpole.Whitworth Gun (See Gun .)
Whole Duty of Man Tenison, Bishop of Lincoln, says the author was Dr. Chaplin, of University College,
Oxford. (Evelyn: Diary.)
Whole Gale (A). A very heavy wind. The three degrees are a fresh gale, a strong gale, and a heavy or whole gale.
Whom the Gods Love Die Young [Herodotos ]. Cited in Don Juan, canto iv. 12 (death of Haidee).
Wick, Wicked and in French Méche, Méchant. That the two English words and the two French words should have similar resemblances and similar meanings is a remarkable coincidence, especially as the two adjectives are quite independent of the nouns in their etymology. Wick is the Anglo-Saxon weoce, a rush or reed, but wicked is the Anglo-Saxon waec or wac, vile. So méche is the Latin mywa -a wick, but méchant is the old French meschéante, unlucky.
Wicked Prayer Book (The). Printed 1686, octavo. The Fourteenth Sunday after Trinity reads:-
Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these: adultery, fornication, uncleanness, idolatry ... they who do these things shall inherit the kingdom of God.(Of course, shall inherit should be shall not inherit.)
Wicked Weed (The). Hops.
After the introduction into England of the wicked weed called hops.- Return to Edward VI.'s Parliament, 1524.Wicket-gate The entrance to the road that leadeth to the Celestial City. Over the portal is the inscription- KNOCK, AND IT SHALL BE OPENED UNTO YOU.(Bunyan: Pilgrim's Progress.)
Wicliffe (John), called The Morning Star of the Reformation. (1324-1384.)
Wide-awake Felt hats are so called by a pun, because they never have a nap at any time; they are always wide awake.
Widenostrils (3 syl.). (French, Bringuenarilles.) A huge giant, who subsisted on windmills, and lived in the island of Tohu. When Pantagruel and his fleet reached this island no food could be cooked because Widenostrils had swallowed every individual pan, skillet, kettle, frying-pan, dripping-pan, boiler, and saucepan in the land, and died from eating a lump of butter. Tohu and Bohu, two contiguous islands
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