‘a word in your shell-like’: meaning and origin

a word in confidence—UK, 1927—‘shell-like’ elliptical for ‘shell-like ear’, which was originally a poetical term associating the shape of the external ear with the graceful convolutions of a small pink seashell

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‘I’m talking to the butcher, not to the block’

UK, 1898—Australia, 1913—used when, while addressing someone, the speaker is interrupted by someone else—in particular when the person who interrupts is a subordinate of the person whom the speaker addresses

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