Which Joe gave his name to ‘sloppy joes’? We look at five interesting sandwiches and their lexical origins.
1A broom made of twigs tied round a stick.
broom, sweeper, whisk, sweeping brushView synonyms
- ‘Provided there is not too much wind, and there are enough fire-breaks - a burn, perhaps, or a wide track to prevent the fire taking off - you can keep the blaze under control by beating it down with the besoms.’
- ‘In the past, it was used to make besoms and brooms; even baskets were sometimes fashioned from its stems.’
- ‘He followed this by sitting down and making a besom - a brush made from birch twigs.’
- ‘She realized that she had left her besom behind in the field, having forgotten it as the strange spirit had spirited her away from where the hole had been.’
- ‘Players have brooms, known as besoms, to sweep the ice clear of snow or debris so that nothing slows the passage of the stones.’
- ‘The farmers are among the last producers of besom brooms in the country, after getting off to a flying start with the demand for traditional broomsticks sparked by the Harry Potter books and films.’
- ‘Other species of wood used include birch, which is made into besom for brooms and horse jumps and oak for rustic furniture.’
- ‘Fix up that dusty broomstick from the hall closet and use it for a besom.’
- ‘Children love to sweep up, and this small besom looks just like a grown-up one.’
- ‘They took the besom and threw it in the stove.’
- ‘Brush in fine sand with a besom, and the grass will breathe more easily.’
- ‘Having finished at last, she took her besom to the door, and beat it against a stone.’
- ‘One Dorset broom maker was even making a special version of his household besom broom for the younger visitors - a Nimbus 2000, guaranteed to attract all Harry Potter fans!’
- ‘Heidi broke some straws from her besom and we lit all the candles anew.’
- ‘The event, led by the National Trust, saw crafts-people from across the country, including besom makers and stone-wallers demonstrating their traditional trades.’
2Scottish Northern English derogatory A woman or girl.
lady, girl, member of the fair sex, member of the gentle sex, femaleView synonyms
- ‘Then, as everyone stared at the old besom, the rapt silence was broken by the rolling thunder of a single cannon, setting the seabirds to wheeling and shrieking.’
- ‘It was the old besom who had stood behind the reception counter when she arrived.’
- ‘"Oh, no, you don't, you old besom. You aren't getting rid of me that easily," Glory gasped at last, her voice hoarse with misuse.’
- ‘She was a cunning old besom and had seen instantly through Janet and my efforts to be professional and pleasant.’
- ‘Once, he even told a nosey old besom to mind her own business.’
Old English besema, of West Germanic origin; related to Dutch bezem and German Besen.
We take a look at several popular, though confusing, punctuation marks.
From Afghanistan to Zimbabwe, discover surprising and intriguing language facts from around the globe.
The definitions of ‘buddy’ and ‘bro’ in the OED have recently been revised. We explore their history and increase in popularity.