origin of ‘Stepford’ (robotically conformist or obedient)

robotically conformist or obedient—from The Stepford Wives (1972 novel by Ira Levin and 1975 film adaptation by Bryan Forbes), in which Stepford is the name of a superficially idyllic suburb where the men have replaced their wives with obedient robots

Read More

the phrase ‘age before beauty’ and tales around it

USA, 1850—indicates that precedence should be given, or deference shown, to an older person—in extended use: an invitation to somebody (not necessarily older) to go first when passing through a door, etc.—pays a compliment to the person giving precedence

Read More

‘gung ho’ and American admiration for communist China

from Chinese ‘gōnghé’, short for ‘Zhōngguó Gōngyè Hézuò Shè’ (Chinese Industrial Cooperative Society)—interpreted as a slogan meaning ‘work together’ (USA, 1941)—adopted by Evans F. Carlson, commander of the 2nd Marine Raider Battalion (1942)

Read More

How a murder popularised ‘sugar daddy’ in 1923.

from ‘heavy-sugar daddy’ (USA, 1923), popularised by the murder of Anna Keenan (a.k.a. Dorothy King), who was a ‘heavy-sugar baby’, i.e., a woman ‘coated’ with ‘sugar’ (i.e., money) by a ‘daddy’ (i.e., an older man)

Read More