The first two sharps were added because the word was too common to be left as a separate word in the dictionary. Two of the definitions of “bluff” in the 1790 Dictionary were “to deceive, or to fool” and “to play the bluff, or play the fool.”
The same goes for “three sharps” as an abbreviation for “twelve hundred.” A few other examples of abbreviations of English words are “chameleon,” “juggernaut,” “soup,” “yakety,” “yoke,” “yew,” “wax,” “youth,” “youth of tomorrow,” and “zebra.” Although these are not usually capitalized in dictionaries, they are common slang forms that can often be used as an abbreviation of words or abbreviations.
“Juggernaut,” “Soup,” “Chessboard,” “Youth.”
The “Soup” abbreviation comes from the Italian word for soup, “pomodoro,” which was a dish of pasta, meat or fish cooked by placing pieces of vegetables first on the stove, and then another piece of vegetable second.
Zebra, the nickname for the English word “zeppelin,” was originally derived from the Germanic words “zebra” and “kite.” The word was used to describe one of the earliest early types of airship.
A little known fact about “Zebra”
The name zebra didn’t come from people using the word in a derogatory sense. In fact, there is no such thing as a “zebra.” There are four species of zebra, all found in Spain.
“Four. You’ve probably been told that a horse is a zebra. I know from experience that what you call a zebra is in fact a horse, and if it is a zebra like the one you see at the zoo, you have to look for a way to tell which one is the real thing. But if you look for yourself it won’t resemble you—it’s either the other way around.” —Jack Handey, “The Truth About Zebra”
Frequently Asked Questions
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