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To play hookey

Posted by Smokey Stover on August 14, 2005

In Reply to: To blue pencil posted by ESC on August 13, 2005

: : : I need to know the idiomatic meaning of the following expressions:
: : : Jeremiah
: : : to play hooky
: : : to blue pencil
: : : I thank you in advance

: : Jeremiah is from the Bible (see No. 2, Merriam-Webster):

: : Main Entry: Jer·e·mi·ah
: : Pronunciation: -'mI-&
: : Function: noun
: : Etymology: Late Latin Jeremias, from Greek Hieremias, from Hebrew YirmeyAh
: : 1 : a major Hebrew prophet of the 6th and 7th centuries B.C.
: : 2 : one who is pessimistic about the present and foresees a calamitous future
: : 3 : a prophetic book of canonical Jewish and Christian Scripture -- see BIBLE table

: : "Blue pencil" is to edit or correct something. Editors traditionally used a blue pencil. I am not sure why. Maybe to stand out from the white paper/black ink.

: Hooky -- see the archives: bulletin_board 6 messages 773.html

I was surprised to see the spelling "hookie" in the linked message. But then, I was also surprised to see the spelling "hooky." All the citations in the OED, up to the 1950s, spell it "hookey," which is how I've always spelled it. SS

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