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Showing posts from September, 2014

Phrases associated with the Titanic?

And the band played on
One of the most striking images from the disaster is that of the orchestra playing as the ship sank.
Survivors of the ship witnessed one of the greatest acts of selflessness and courage when Wallace Hartley and his string ensemble played music on the upper deck soon after the Titanic struck the iceberg in order to calm the passengers.Though the ensemble did not  play the eponymous popular song,the phrase has been a favourite in newspaper headlines ever since. It was also the title for a famous book about the early history of HIVAIDS by Randy Shilts. (source)

The tip of the iceberg 
Only 10% of an iceberg is visible above the surface of the water. Used metaphorically the phrase refers to hidden danger.

Recent research suggests the phrase was unusually resonant in the disaster: 'the ship crashed because the iceberg was disguised by an optical illusion' - see here.

Women and children first
The first recorded use is in the novel Harrington: A True Story of Love by …

What does stalwart mean? Where does the word come from?

A stalwart person is reliable, dependable, resolute (or inflexible depending on your perspective.) The word is probably a  14th Century Scottish variant on a old English term: stælwierðe "good, serviceable,"

In the US the term acquired a political dimension with a section of the Republican Party  that refused to abandon its Civil War hostility to the south. They became known as the 'Stalwart Party', a label that stuck.

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