Food: A Dictionary of Literal and Nonliteral Terms

By Robert A. Palmatier | Go to book overview

R

RABBIT FOOD

Salad greens and raw vegetables. DAFD: 1960s. Source: RABBIT (MWCD: 14th cent.); FOOD (MWCD: O.E.). Because they are herbivorous, wild rabbits feast on all of the roots (such as carrots), stalks (such as celery), and leaves (such as lettuce) in your garden. Most humans are omnivorous, and they can be expected to feed not only on raw vegetables but on rabbits as well. However, for some strange reason, many children and grown men have a dislike for the food that rabbits love so much, referring to it by the pejorative term rabbit food (or roughage), as if it were unfit for human consumption. Unfortunately, therefore, they miss out on all green salads and have no idea how good carrot sticks and celery stalks can taste when they are dipped into salad dressing. In contrast, almost all humans like squirrel food, i.e., “nuts,” although the term is also used pejoratively for people who are themselves nuts (q.v.) or at least a little nutty (q.v.). DAS; IRCD; MDWPO; NSOED; SA.


RACING SHELL

See Shell out.


RAISIN

a raisin. A dried grape. MWCD: 14th cent. Source: GRAPE. Raisin entered English from French, where it meant, and still means, “grape.” At about the same time, the word grape also entered English from French, where it referred to the grappling hook used to harvest grape clusters. Grape prevailed in English for the fresh fruit, whereas raisin prevailed for the dried fruit. In modern times, grapes are dried either in the sun or by artificial heat. If large Thompson seedless or Muscat grapes are used, the dried products are called raisins; if tiny Zante grapes are used, the products are called currants. (Concord grapes are not used to make raisins.) Raisins are often packaged in very small cardboard boxes, which has led to the expression “a raisin-box size theater (etc.)” for a theater (etc.) that

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Food: A Dictionary of Literal and Nonliteral Terms
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents vii
  • Preface ix
  • Preface xi
  • Abbreviations and Symbols xiii
  • A 1
  • B 13
  • C 47
  • D 95
  • E 110
  • F 123
  • G 148
  • H 166
  • I 187
  • J 196
  • K 201
  • L 207
  • M 224
  • N 249
  • O 256
  • P 264
  • Q 296
  • R 297
  • S 307
  • T 356
  • U 378
  • V 380
  • W 384
  • Y 394
  • Z 399
  • About the Author 463
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