(Anglo-Saxon, lige, a falsehood.)
(The) or The lie with circumstance. Sir, if you said so, it was a lie. As Touchstone says, this insult is voidable by this means- “If you said so, I said it was a lie,” but the word “if” makes the insult hypothetical. This is the lie direct in the second degree or once removed. (See Countercheck.)
(The). Sir, that's a lie. You are a liar. This is an offence no gentleman can take.
One day as I was walking, with my customary swagger, Says a fellow to me, `Pistol, you're a coward, though a bragger.' Now, this was an indignity no gentleman could take, sir; So I told him flat and plump. `You lie- (under a mistake sir).'
(The). To tell one flat and plump “You lie.” Touchstone calls this “the countercheck quarrelsome.”
“If again [the fifth time] it was not well cut, he would say I lied: this is called the countercheck quarrelsome.” —
Lie hath no Feet
(A). Because it cannot stand alone. In fact, a lie wants twenty others to support it, and even then is in constant danger of tripping
(Anglo-Saxon, licgan, to `bide or rest; but lie, to deceive, is the Anglo-Saxon verb leog-an.)
Lie heavy on him, earth, for he Laid many a heavy load on thee
This is part of Dr. Evan's epitaph on Sir John Vanbrugh, the comic poet, herald, and architect. “The heavy loads” referred to were Blenheim, Greenwich Hospital (which he finished), Castle Howard in Yorkshire, and other massive buildings. (1666-1726.)
Source: Dictionary of Phrase and Fable, E. Cobham Brewer, 1894
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