A porter in a British hotel comes upon an American tourist impatiently jabbing at the button for the lift.
"Sir, the lift will be here in a moment."
"Lift? Lift?" replies the American. "Oh, you mean the elevator."
"No sir, here we call it a lift."
"Well, as it was invented in the United States, it’s called an elevator."
"Yes sir, but as the language was invented here, it’s called a lift."
- —prep. - near, beside (sit by me; path by the river).
- through the agency or means of (by proxy; poem by donne; by bus; by cheating; divide by two; killed by robbers).
- not later than (by next week).
- a past, beyond (drove by the church). B through; via (went by paris).
- during (by day; by daylight).
- to the extent of (missed by a foot; better by far).
- according to; using as a standard or unit (judge by appearances; paid by the hour).
- with the succession of (worse by the minute; day by day).
- concerning; in respect of (did our duty by them; smith by name). 10 used in mild oaths (by god). 11 expressing dimensions of an area etc. (three feet by two). 12 avoiding, ignoring (passed us by). 13 inclining to (north by north-west). —adv. - near (sat by).
- aside; in reserve (put £5 by).
- past (marched by). —n. (pl. Byes) = *bye1. by and by before long; eventually. By and large on the whole. By the by (or bye) incidentally. By oneself 1 a unaided. B unprompted.
- alone. [old english]
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