According to philologist Robert
Claiborne, the US Weather Bureau defines it as:
"a cumulonimbus that can reach 40,000 feet high." What two-word cliche is it?
Etymology, Etymology, and more Etymology
as well as grammar, usage, euphemism, slang, jargon, semantics, linguistics, neologism, idiom, cant, and argot.
The critically-acclaimed board game
consists of tough questions about the nuances of the English language.
In Loose Cannons and
Red Herrings, Claiborne implies that the Bureau's definition led to
this figure of speech. However, Merriam-Webster
states that the term derives from the name of the highest heaven in Dante's
Copyright 1998-2009 Blair Arts Ltd. All rights reserved.