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Oddities News Archive - November 17, 2003

John Hirsch went toe-to-claw with a black bear - and won. Hirsch had only a 3 1/2-inch knife blade when he came across the bear in his backyard in Williams Lake, about 190 miles northeast of Vancouver. "He came out of nowhere," said Hirsch, 61, an avid hunter and outdoorsman.

Word of the Day
cock-a-hoop
  • Exultant; jubilant; triumphant; on the high horse.
  • Tipsy; slightly intoxicated.
This word may come from the phrase 'to set cock on hoop,' or 'to drink festively.' Its origin otherwise is unclear. A theory, according to the Word Detective, is that it's a 'transliteration of the French phrase 'coq a huppe,' meaning a rooster displaying its crest ('huppe') in a pose of proud defiance.' Therefore, 'cock-a-hoop' would 'liken a drunken man to a boastful and aggressive rooster.'
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