Page:A Desk-Book of Errors in English.djvu/206

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A Desk-Book of

roast: A slang term used occasionally by journalists and members of the theatrical profession as an equivalent for "banter" or "ridicule," as in a press notice.

rooster: A word often incorrectly restricted in its meaning. This is due in a measure to usage as recorded by lexicographers. If a roost is a perch upon which fowls rest at night, then a rooster is any fowl which perches on a roost, be it cock or hen. But the domestic fowl is not the only bird that roosts, therefore any bird that does so, be it what it may, is as much a rooster as the male or female domestic fowl.

rope in, to: A colloquialism for "to cause to participate in" or in a bad sense "to swindle." In the latter sense it is used especially when the intention is to induce a person to invest in a scheme that is known beforehand to be of questionable worth.

rubber should not be used as a synonym for "crane"; nor rubber-necking for "craning the neck." These terms are slang which have been derived from rubber-neck, a playful expression said to be current among the children of Nova Scotia and used by them on April 1st instead of the more common "April fool."

rubber-neck: Slang for one who cranes his neck so as to see things that are none of his concern.

rubbers: As a rule an article of clothing should not be referred to in terms of the material of which it

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