Stories We Like: A Guide to the Comma
a Middle English merger of Old English line "cable, rope; series, row, row of letters; rule, direction," and Old French ligne "guideline, cord, string; lineage, descent;" both from Latin linea "linen thread, string, line," from phrase linea restis "linen cord," from fem. of lineus (adj.) "of linen," from linum "linen" (see linen).
Oldest sense is "rope, cord, string;" extended late 14c. to "a thread-like mark" (from sense "cord used by builders for making things level," mid-14c.), also "track, course, direction." Sense of "things or people arranged in a straight line" is from 1550s. That of "cord bearing hooks used in fishing" is from c.1300. Meaning "one's occupation, branch of business" is from 1630s, probably from misunderstood KJV translation of 2 Cor. x:16, "And not to boast in another mans line of things made ready to our hand," where line translates Greek kanon, literally "measuring rod." Meaning "class of goods in stock" is from 1834. Meaning "telegraph wire" is from 1847 (later "telephone wire").
Meaning "policy or set of policies of a political faction" is 1892, American English, from notion of a procession of followers; this is the sense in party line. In British army, the Line (1802) is the regular, numbered troops, as distinguished from guards and auxiliaries. In the Navy (1704, e.g. ship of the line) it refers to the battle line. Lines "words of an actor's part" is from 1882. Lines of communication were originally transverse trenches in siegeworks.
"to cover the inner side of," late 14c., from Old English lin "linen cloth" (see linen). Linen was frequently used in the Middle Ages as a second layer of material on the inner side of a garment. Related: Lined; lining.
late 14c., "to tie with a cord," from line (n.). Meaning "to mark or mark off with lines" is from mid-15c. Sense of "to arrange in a line" is from 1640s; that of "to join a line" is by 1773. To line up "form a line" is attested by 1889, in U.S. football.
mid-14c., pokete, "bag, pouch, small sack," from Anglo-French pokete (13c.), diminutive of Old North French poque "bag" (Old French pouche), from a Germanic source akin to Frankish *pokka "bag," from Proto-Germanic *puk- (see poke (n.)).
Meaning "small bag worn on the person, especially one sewn into a garment" is from early 15c. Sense in billiards is from 1754. Mining sense is attested from 1850; military sense of "area held by troops surrounded by the enemy" is from 1918; the general sense of "small area different than its surroundings" (1926) apparently was extended from the military use. Figuratively, "one's money" (conceived as being kept in a pocket) is from 1717. Pope Pokett (late 15c.) was figurative of the greedy and corrupt Church.
1580s, "to place in a pocket" (often with implications of dishonesty), from pocket (n.). From the earliest use often figurative. Meaning "to form pockets" is from c.1600. Related: Pocketed; pocketing.
1610s, "of or pertaining to or meant for a pocket," from pocket (n.). Pocket-knife is first recorded 1727; pocket-money is attested from 1630s. Often merely implying a small-sized version of something, e.g. of warships, from 1930, and cf. Pocket Venus "beautiful, small woman," attested from 1808. Pocket veto attested from 1842, American English.
The "pocket veto" can operate only in the case of bills sent to the President within ten days of Congressional adjournment. If he retain such a bill (figuratively, in his pocket) neither giving it his sanction by signing it, nor withholding his sanction in returning it to Congress, the bill is defeated. The President is not bound to give reasons for defeating a bill by a pocket veto which he has not had at least ten days to consider. In a regular veto he is bound to give such reasons. [James Albert Woodburn, "The American Republic and its Government," Putnam's, 1903]
The path traced by a moving point.
A thin continuous mark, as that made by a pen, pencil, or brush applied to a surface.
A crease in the skin, especially on the face; a wrinkle.
In anatomy, a long narrow mark, strip, or streak distinguished from adjacent tissue by color, texture, or elevation.
A real or imaginary mark positioned in relation to fixed points of reference.
A border, boundary, or demarcation.
A contour or an outline.
A mark used to define a shape or represent a contour.
Any of the marks that make up the formal design of a picture.
A cable, rope, string, cord or wire.
A general method, manner, or course of procedure.
A manner or course of procedure determined by a specified factor.
An official or prescribed policy.
Ancestry or lineage.
A series of persons, especially from one family, who succeed each other.
pocket pock·et (pŏk'ĭt)
In anatomy, a cul-de-sac or pouchlike cavity.
A diseased space between the inflamed gum and the surface of a tooth.
A collection of pus in a nearly closed sac.
To enclose within a confined space.
To approach the surface at a localized spot, as with the thinned out wall of an abscess which is about to rupture.
someone's ass is on the line, the bottom line, chow line, hard line, hot line, in line, in line for, lay it on the line, main line, on line, on the line, out of line, punch line, put one's ass on the line, redline, shoot someone a line, stag line, toe the mark