the Spanish origin of ‘cloak-and-dagger’

development from ‘cloak and sword’, from Spanish ‘(comedia) de capa y espada’, a type of dramas in which the main characters wore cloaks and swords or daggers

Read More

origin of ‘vamoose’

from Spanish ‘vamos’, ‘let us go’—first recorded as ‘vamos’ in ‘Every Night Book; or, Life after Dark’ (London, 1827), by the English author William Clarke

Read More

the Shakespearean origin of ‘sea change’

from ‘Full Fathom Five’, Ariel’s song to Ferdinand in ‘The Tempest’, by Shakespeare, where ‘sea change’ denotes a change brought about by the action of the sea

Read More

the Shakespearean origin of ‘salad days’

‘salad days’: days of youthful inexperience—coined by Shakespeare in ‘Antony and Cleopatra’—alludes to the raw (green and cold) vegetables used in a salad

Read More

origin of ‘good wine needs no bush’

first recorded in ‘As You Like It’, by Shakespeare—from the former practice of hanging a branch or bunch of ivy as a vintner’s sign in front of a tavern

Read More

origin of ‘cloud-cuckoo-land’

a realm of fantasy, dreams or impractical notions—1856 as ‘cuckoo-cloud-land’—from the name of the city built by the birds in ‘The Birds’, by Aristophanes

Read More