fourth


fourth
   a lavatory
   The use seems to have originated at Cambridge University, probably from the lowest category of degree awarded on graduation, rather than from the three Estates of the Realm — the peers, the bishops, and the commons. The literati in the 19th century delighted in inventing candidates for the fourth estate. Carlyle says Burke first suggested the press, although Macaulay has a better claim. The joke, if such it be, still lingers on:
    Just to make sure the food and drink were equally up to the expectations of the fourth estate. (Deighton, 1982, meaning journalists)

How not to say what you mean: A dictionary of euphemisms. . 2014.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • fourth — [fɔːθ ǁ fɔːrθ] adjective ACCOUNTING fourth half/​quarter/​period the fourth half, quarter etc of the financial year * * * fourth UK US /fɔːθ/ adjective [before noun] ► relating to the last three month period of a company s financial year:… …   Financial and business terms

  • Fourth — Fourth, n. 1. One of four equal parts into which one whole may be divided; the quotient of a unit divided by four. [1913 Webster] 2. (Mus.) The interval of two tones and a semitone, embracing four diatonic degrees of the scale; the subdominant of …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • fourth — ► ORDINAL NUMBER 1) constituting number four in a sequence; 4th. 2) (a fourth/one fourth) chiefly N. Amer. a quarter. 3) Music an interval spanning four consecutive notes in a diatonic scale, in particular an interval of two tones and a semitone …   English terms dictionary

  • fourth — [ fɔrθ ] number 1. ) in the place or position counted as number 4: the fourth of January We came in fourth in the race. 2. ) one of 4 equal parts of something: QUARTER: Only about a fourth of the children had heard of Shakespeare …   Usage of the words and phrases in modern English

  • fourth — [fôrth, fōrth] adj. [ME feorthe, ferthe < OE feortha: see FOUR & TH2] 1. preceded by three others in a series; 4th 2. designating any of the four equal parts of something 3. designating the forward gear ratio of a motor vehicle next after… …   English World dictionary

  • Fourth — Fourth, a. [OE. fourthe, ferthe, feorthe, AS. fe[ o]r[eth]a, fr. fe[ o]wer four.] 1. Next in order after the third; the ordinal of four. [1913 Webster] 2. Forming one of four equal parts into which anything may be divided. [1913 Webster] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • fourth — fourth; fourth·ly; …   English syllables

  • fourth|ly — «FRTH lee, FOHRTH », adverb. in the fourth place …   Useful english dictionary

  • fourth — O.E. feorða; see FOUR (Cf. four) + TH (Cf. th) (1). Cf. O.S. fiortho, O.N. fiorðe, Du. vierde, O.H.G. fiordo, Ger. vierte …   Etymology dictionary

  • fourth — /fawrth, fohrth/, adj. 1. next after the third; being the ordinal number for four. 2. being one of four equal parts. 3. Auto. of, pertaining to, or operating at the gear transmission ratio at which the drive shaft speed is greater than that of… …   Universalium

  • fourth — fourth1 [fo:θ US fo:rθ] adj [: Old English; Origin: feortha, from feower four ] coming after three other things in a series ▪ in the fourth century ▪ her fourth birthday >fourth pron >fourthly adv fourth 2 fourth2 pron …   Dictionary of contemporary English


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