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The "Jones" in "keeping up with the Joneses" is simply a recognizably common surname used as shorthand for a typical family of the sort that might live next door (and have a better refrigerator than you do)."Chairman" dates back to the 17th century as does, interestingly, the shorter form "chair" meaning the person in charge of a meeting."Chair" in this sense actually had an odd sort of double birth.This particular divergence from the topic was prompted by a classmate using the variant "chairperson." The teacher explained that this P. version of the word is nonsense as the "man" in "chairman" has nothing to do with gender, but has its origin in Latin ("manus") meaning "hand." What are your thoughts? So, if your teacher was correct, the root meaning of "chairman" would be "chairhand," sort of like a cowhand who deals with chairs? I'm as leery as any red-blooded grump of over-sensitivity in language, and have spent a bit of time in this column explaining that, for example, we don't need words such as "herstory" because "history" has absolutely nothing to do with the male possessive pronoun.Herding them from conference room to cubicle, roping and branding the ornery Aerons but being careful with the overstuffed models and their cute baby ottomans? But I'm afraid your teacher was riding the political pendulum a bit beyond the bounds of reality.

"Chairman" has nothing to do with "manus." The "man" in "chairman" is indeed the male human, and the "chair" simply a chair, specifically the seat, whether humble or a throne, occupied by a person of power and authority in a meeting or assembly.

Thus, "chairman" simply means the person who sits in the chair designated for the person in charge.

"Croaker" has also been used at various times to mean a person who complains or speaks in a depressing manner, a person or animal close to death (about to "croak"), and, especially in U. The crocus, known to most of us as a colorful flowering plant, is, more importantly from an economic standpoint, also the source of saffron, an orange-red powder used in flavoring and coloring food.

(This saffron differs from "Indian saffron," which is the spice turmeric.) While "croker sack" is primarily heard in the American South today, "croker" as a term for a crocus merchant dates all the way back to 16th century England.

Lesson Number One about kittens: If You Feed Them, They Will Grow.

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