meanings of ‘up in Annie’s room’

late 1910s: an answer to an enquiry as to the whereabouts of someone who cannot be found—1930s: the space at the top of the dartboard where scores are doubled

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origin of ‘skinflint’

attested 1699—from the hyperbolical phrase ‘to skin a flint’ (1656)—cf. ‘to skin a flea for its hide and tallow’ and French ‘tondre un œuf’ (‘to shave an egg’)

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origin of ‘to cut both ways’

to serve both sides of an argument; to have both good and bad effects—England, early 18th century—refers to a sword which has two cutting edges

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origin of ‘simon-pure’

1790—from the name of a Quaker who must prove his identity against an impostor’s claims in ‘A Bold Stroke for a Wife’ (1718), a comedy by Susanna Centlivre

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