Roget's 21st Century Thesaurus, Third Edition Copyright © 2013 by the Philip Lief Group.


I felt that I was salting his wound, but we were soldiers and--I had the salt.

Prudence had nearly completed her operations and was salting the cream in the pail.

This shouted towards the hatch, where Disko and Tom Platt were salting.

What influence does salting and preservation have upon composition?

A year was added for hardwood treenails, and another for 'salting on the stocks.'

"He's salting them by this time," Snowball muttered to himself.

"I don't believe you've ever been at a salting party," he said.

You encourage me so, that I will slowly go on salting seeds.

A most remarkable case of "salting" was that of the "North Ophir."

It is as necessary to pay attention to the packing of butter as it is to its salting.


Old English sealt "salt" (n.; also as an adjective, "salty, briny"), from Proto-Germanic *saltom (cf. Old Saxon, Old Norse, Old Frisian, Gothic salt, Dutch zout, German Salz), from PIE *sal- "salt" (cf. Greek hals "salt, sea," Latin sal, Old Church Slavonic soli, Old Irish salann, Welsh halen "salt").

Modern chemistry sense is from 1790. Meaning "experienced sailor" is first attested 1840, in reference to the salinity of the sea. Salt was long regarded as having power to repel spiritual and magical evil. Many metaphoric uses reflect that this was once a rare and important resource, e.g. worth one's salt (1830), salt of the earth (Old English, after Matt. v:13). Belief that spilling salt brings bad luck is attested from 16c. To be above (or below) the salt (1590s) refers to customs of seating at a long table according to rank or honor, and placing a large salt-cellar in the middle of the dining table.

Salt-lick first recorded 1751; salt-marsh is Old English sealtne mersc; salt-shaker is from 1882. Salt-and-pepper "of dark and light color" first recorded 1915. To take something with a grain of salt is from 1640s, from Modern Latin cum grano salis.

Roget's 21st Century Thesaurus, Third Edition Copyright © 2013 by the Philip Lief Group.