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mano a mano

[ mah-noh uh mah-noh ] [ ˈmɑ noʊ ə ˈmɑ noʊ ] Show IPA Phonetic Respelling


a direct confrontation or conflict; head-on competition; duel.

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What is the origin of mano a mano?

Mano a mano “a direct confrontation” is a loanword from Spanish, in which it means “hand to hand”—not “man to man,” per the common misconception. Spanish mano “hand” comes from Latin manus “hand,” which is also the source of a wide variety of English words, from manicure (“hand care”) and manuscript (“handwritten”) to maintain (“to hold with the hand”) and both maneuver and manure (“to work by hand”). Latin manus and Spanish mano are grammatically feminine nouns with masculine endings. This means that a “bad hand” in Latin is a manus mala (Spanish mano mala), with feminine mala agreeing only in grammatical gender with manus. In contrast, to use the masculine Latin noun lupus “wolf,” a “bad wolf” is a lupus malus (Spanish lobo malo), with masculine malus agreeing in gender and spelling with lupus. Mano a mano was first recorded in English in the early 1950s.

how is mano a mano used?

Let’s be clear, though: an air fryer would be flattened in a mano-a-mano with a real Fryalator and its big tub of hot oil. Few of us deep fry at home, though, as it involves that huge amount of hot oil which you have to deal with after dinner. So does air frying bring us close enough to the ideal to take the plunge?

Joe Ray, “Are Air Fryers Worth It?” Wired, May 10, 2018

This is a tale of two former bodybuilders, facing off in court—over a patent. And not just any patent: Based on federally funded research, this one has a pedigree that links back to one of the most prestigious universities in the world. And this kind of legal mano a mano raises questions about the role of universities in the patent system.

Laura Sydell, “Bodybuilders Beef Over A Workout Supplement—And A Stanford Patent,” NPR, July 8, 2016
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[ adz ] [ ædz ] Show IPA Phonetic Respelling


an ax-like tool, for dressing timbers roughly, with a curved, chisel-like steel head mounted at a right angle to the wooden handle.

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What is the origin of adze?

Adze “an ax-like tool” dates back more than 1000 years to the days of Old English, when it was spelled adesa, but before then, its origins are unknown. Some linguists have noted the similarity between adze and ax (or axe), but the resemblance is flimsier in Old English, in which ax is spelled æx or æces, and cannot explain a sound change from x to des. Another loose hypothesis is that adze is related to, if not derived from, Latin ascia “axe” (compare French asse “pickax”), but it seems likelier instead that English ax and Latin ascia share a common, distant origin. One clue to the potential origin of adze may lie at the other end of Europe, specifically in Turkey, where the Hittite language was spoken over 3000 years ago. English and Hittite are both members of the Indo-European language family, which may explain why English adze looks a bit like Hittite atešša “ax.” Adze was first recorded in English before 900.

how is adze used?

They were the metaphorical pickup trucks of their day …. Dugout canoes were difficult to fashion into water-worthy vessels. All were made from a single tree trunk, fire coals placed atop it and then the charred wood was hollowed out with an adze or similar sharp-edged tool made of stone, sea shells and, eventually, metal.

“Ancient Canoe Exhibit Inspires Thousands at Chickasaw Cultural Center,” Indian Country Today, November 30, 2014
[A]n axe that is more than 9,000 years old, found at Ireland’s earliest burial site, in Co Limerick, has shed light on the ancient burial practices of our hunter-gatherer ancestors …. Microscopic analysis has revealed the shale tool, believed to be the earliest fully polished adze in Europe, was only used for a short time, and then deliberately blunted.

Fiona Gartland, “A 9,000-year-old axe sheds light on burial practices,” Irish Times, November 2, 2016
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[ kuhn-viv-ee-uhl ] [ kənˈvɪv i əl ] Show IPA Phonetic Respelling


friendly; agreeable.

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What is the origin of convivial?

Convivial “friendly, agreeable” comes from Latin convīvium “feast,” which is based on the verb convīvere “to live together, dine together.” The prefix con- “with, together” may also appear as co-, col-, com-, or cor- depending on the letter that follows, as in coincidence, colleague, comfortable, and correct, respectively. The verb vīvere “to live” and its adjective equivalent, vīvus “alive,” are the source of vivacious, vivid, revive, and survival. Of the same origin is the Latin noun vīta “life,” which is the root of vital and vitamin. Convivial was first recorded in the 1660s.

how is convivial used?

Coffee-bar owners say that while space and rent can be considerations, they’re installing counters because they create a lively environment where it’s easy to have a quick, convivial exchange …. The conversation seems to happen over shorter drinks like espresso and coffee brewed by the cup. A four-ounce cortado is a pleasant drink at a bar stool. A 20-ounce latte demands a chair.

Oliver Strand, “The New Coffee Bars: Unplug, Drink, Go,” New York Times, August 24, 2010

Wine, for the ancient Greeks, was a pillar of civilization, to the point where Greek teetotalers were viewed with suspicion. Water-drinking, the Greeks believed, made people surly, curmudgeonly, and over-earnest. Wine-drinkers, in contrast, were convivial, creative, passionate, and fond of intellectual discourse.

Rebecca Rupp, “Cheers: Celebration Drinking Is an Ancient Tradition,” National Geographic, December 26, 2014
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