The Many Meanings of “Sweat”
Sweat is one of those Old English words that has dwindled in meaning since Anglo-Saxon times. Back in those sword-swinging times, sweat mean “blood.”
By Middle English times sweat had acquired its modern meaning of “perspiration.”
In addition to its current literal meaning, sweat enjoys a rich figurative life:
sweat of one’s brow
This expression comes from Genesis 3:19:
In the sweat of thy face shalt thou eat bread, till thou return unto the ground; for out of it wast thou taken: for dust thou art, and unto dust shalt thou return.
The expression has been used with a legal meaning in discussions of copyright law: “the effort expended in labor, and the value created thereby.”
value added to a house by means of the unpaid labor of owner or tenant.
“a collarless long-sleeved pullover made of cotton jersey with a smooth-finished face and a heavily napped back” –Merriam Webster
athletic pants made of the same fabric as a sweatshirt
sweatband/sweat-band: can be either the band of leather or other material that forms the lining of a cap, or a band of terry cloth or other absorbent material worn around the head to absorb perspiration.
a bee attracted to the salt in human perspiration
Excessive sweating during sleep. Medical term: Sleep hyperhidrosis
a small factory that does not conform to local standards of safety, sanitation, length of workday, or payment.
an enclosed area heated by steam from water poured on hot stones; used especially by American Indians for spiritual and/or health purposes.
a model or actress who wears tight-fitting sweaters for publicity photos. The first “sweater girl” was Lana Turner.
This idiom means “no problem.”
“Can you fix this wretched computer for me?”
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