‘five o’clock shadow’: meaning and origin

the beard growth which becomes visible in the late afternoon on the face of a man who has shaved earlier in the day—originally (USA, 1937) the catchline of an advertising campaign for Gem Micromatic Razor and Blades

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‘Auntie’: The Times (London newspaper) – the BBC

‘Auntie’: familiarly used to denote a publication, an institution, etc., which is considered to be conservative or staid in style or outlook, or, alternatively, which is viewed with affection—especially applied, in Britain, to the London newspaper The Times and to the BBC

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‘segocia’: meaning and origin

a pal, a mate, a good friend—Ireland, 1939, in Finnegans Wake, by James Joyce—perhaps an anglicised form of Irish ‘Seo Dhuitse’ (‘Here you are’) or perhaps an anglicised form of French ‘Mon cher gosse’ (‘My dear child’)

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‘a rat with a gold tooth’: meaning and origin

Australia, 1972—a person, usually a man, who, in spite of a superficial smartness, is untrustworthy—‘rat’ refers to a deceitful or disloyal man—the image is that, despite the gold tooth, a rat’s basic nature cannot change

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‘gory details’: meaning and origin

informal and often humorous: denotes the explicit or most intimate details of something—originally (USA, 1859) referred to accounts or representations of acts of violence and bloodshed

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‘swellegant’: meaning and origin

USA, 1901—wonderfully stylish, elegant or fashionable—a blend of ‘swell’ and ‘elegant’—popularised by its use in the song Well, Did You Evah!, interpreted by Bing Crosby and Frank Sinatra in the 1956 film High Society

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‘Ruby Murray’: meaning and origin

UK, 1983—‘Ruby Murray’, the name of a Northern-Irish singer (1935-1996), is rhyming slang for the noun ‘curry’, denoting a dish of meat, vegetables, etc., cooked in an Indian-style sauce of hot-tasting spices and typically served with rice.

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‘Scousette’: meaning and origin

1945—a woman from Liverpool, a city and seaport in north-western England—from the noun ‘Scouser’, denoting a person from Liverpool, and the suffix ‘-ette’, used to form nouns denoting female gender

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