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Oddities News Archive - November 22, 2004

Swarms of locusts devoured lawns and palm trees Sunday in southern Israel, panicking farmers and leaving others worried about biblical plagues. The pests swept up from Egypt, working their way north on a path that could take them to the West Bank town of Jericho.

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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