‘doona day’: meanings and origin

Australia, 1996—a day spent in bed in order to restore one’s spirits; an unscheduled extra day’s leave from work, taken to alleviate stress or pressure and sanctioned by one’s employer—from ‘Doona’, a proprietary name for an eiderdown or duvet, hence a generic term for any eiderdown or duvet

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‘to talk through (the back of) one’s neck’

1890s—to use extravagant words or language not substantiated by fact; to talk nonsense—occurs in particular in stories by the British authors Ernest William Hornung (1866-1921) and Pelham Grenville Wodehouse (1881-1975)

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‘barbecue stopper’: meaning and origin

Australia—a controversial current-affairs topic—the image is that such a topic is likely to interrupt a barbecue with loud debate—coined in 2001 by the Australian Prime Minister John Howard during his re-election campaign

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‘ducks on the pond’: meaning and origin

Australia, 1982—a coded signal from a man to other men, indicating that a woman is approaching, so that they all moderate their language—originally used in shearing sheds, but now used in other places, especially in pubs

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