Posted by Bob on June 14, 2004
In Reply to: Help for school - possible correction posted by Lewis on June 14, 2004
: : : does anyone know the definitions for these idioms beg the question, de rigeur, halcyon days, raison d'etre, warp and woof???????????????????????? I would really appreciate any help anyone has thanks so much.
: : I'm going to give the other phrase-finders a wonderful opportunity to correct me, and you an opportunity to look these up. To beg the question is so to phrase the question as to include or indicate the correct or desired answer. It does NOT mean "raise the question." It is rarely used correctly, and if you DO use it correctly no one will understand you. De rigueur: straight from the French, means necessary, mandatory, either in fact or in effect. It can be applied, for instance, to clothing, as in, sloppy jeans were de rigueur in those days. Or plaid skirts were de rigueur, on the sisters' say-so. Halcyon days are from Greek mythology; halcyon refers to the kingfisher. Halcyon days are serene, sunny days, really good days. One can use the phrase figuratively, as in the halcyon days of my youth (if that's what they were). Raison d'etre, again, straight from the French, reason for being, reason for existence. The whole raison d'etre of this organization is to promote space exploration. Warp and woof: on a loom the warp goes one way, the woof the other. Figuratively, if you have something that permeates the warp and woof of some medium, it means that the whole fabric shows it or is involved, since woven fabric has only the threads of the warp and the woof. Now look these things up and see whether I'm right or wrong or just unintelligible. SS
: Isn't it 'warp' and 'weft'?
Warp are the vertical threads on a loom. The horizontal threads are the weft, or the woof. The two terms are interchangeable. (In the US, at least, we use woof more often ... we tend to let the weft of the world go by.)