Everyday Life

Apple Pie Order

‘It looks good, everything seems to be in apple pie order.’
Apparently comes from the French ‘nappes pliees’ meaning folded linen.

Leisure Life


16th-century English revelers toasting each other’s health sometimes drank a brimming mug of spirits straight to the bottom — drinking ‘all-out,’ they called it.

German tipplers did the same and used the German expression for ‘all out’ — ‘gar aus.’

The French adopted the German term as ‘carous,’ using the adverb in their expression ‘boire (to drink) carous,’ and that phrase, with its idiomatic sense of ‘to empty the cup,’ led to ‘carrousse,’ a French noun meaning ‘a large draft of liquor.’

And that’s where English speakers picked up ‘carouse’ in the mid-1500s, first as a noun (which later took on the sense of a general ‘drinking bout’), and then as a verb meaning ‘to drink freely.’

Life Oddities


Though we use ‘amok’ mostly as an adverb, it first entered English in the mid-1600s as a noun meaning ‘a murderous frenzy.’ Since the 16th century, visitors to Southeast Asia have reported on a psychiatric disorder known in Malay as ‘amok.’ Typically, the afflicted person (usually a Malay man) attacks bystanders in a blind frenzy, killing everyone in sight until he collapses in exhaustion or is himself killed. The term ‘amok’ (and the murderous spree it names) made an impression on English speakers. By the 17th century, both the noun and adverb forms of ‘amok,’ as well as the phrase ‘run amok’ (a translation of the Malay verb ‘mengamok’), were present in English. Time has mitigated the bloody nature of ‘amok,’ and nowadays it usually describes the unruly and not the murderous.