Revised as of:
18 Feb 2017
Ya know, I don’t really have a problem with tow the line. I mean, sure, people enjoy skimming across the water on thin boards, and it’s a bit far to reach the water with your arms when you’re standing up, so obviously someone is gonna have to tow that line. Then there’s the car breakdown. Don’t cha just hate that one? Obviously, again, someone is gonna have to tow that line with either a tow truck or a kindly friend with a long rope… But, if you’re expecting someone to tow a line and accept what you want…it just ain’t gonna work.
I reckon you could probably pull or drag someone physically into your corner. That would definitely qualify as towing the line, especially if you had them lassoed, and while the original meaning is “stand with the tips of the toes exactly touching a line”, its usage today is more metaphysical than truly physical.
…started as my way of dealing with a professional frustration with properly spelled words that were out of context in manuscripts I was editing as well as books I was reviewing. It evolved into a sharing of information with y’all. I’m hoping you’ll share with us words that have been a bête noir for you from either end.
|Credit to: Apple Dictionary.com|
|Part of Grammar:|
Verb, intransitive & transitive
|Abbreviation 2; Noun 3, 4; Verb, transitive 4|
Any of the digits at the end of the human, a quadruped, or a bird foot
Lower end, tip, or point of something such as the tip of the head of a golf club
Foot or base of a cliff, slope, or embankment
Part of footwear — shoe, sock, etc. — that covers a person’s toes
Toe the line is to accept the authority, principles, or policies of another, especially under pressure; a.k.a., toe the mark 1
Tube-launched, optically guided, wire-guided missile
A rope of line used to tow a vehicle or boat 4
An act of towing 4
Stick your toe in the water.
Hmmm, the toes on your shoes are getting pretty scuffed.
Try and keep everyone on their toes, ready for anything.
I’ve got another hole in the toe of my pink socks.
That man makes my toes curl.
Launch the TOW!
He arrived with his girlfriend in tow.
I need a tow out of the River Tick.
|Adjective: toed, toeless, toelike||Adjective: towable, towy|
|History of the Word:|
|Old English tā is of Germanic origin and related to the Dutch tee and German Zeh, Zehe.
Current senses of the verb date from the mid-19th century
1 First noted use of toe the line is in 1841 and reached a high in 1947 to this day.
|Old English (verb)
3 Old English of Germanic origin and recorded in towcræft meaning spinning
4 Early 17th century of Germanic origin from togian, meaning draw, drag. It’s related to tug.
C’mon, get it out of your system, bitch, whine, moan…which words are your pet peeves?