‘poacher turned gamekeeper’: meaning and origin

a person who now preserves the interests that he or she previously attacked—UK, 19th century—but the notion occurred in Chaucer’s Physician’s Tale and ‘the greatest deer-stealers make the best park-keepers’ in The Church-History of Britain (1655)

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‘sunlit uplands’ (as applied to post-Brexit Britain)

The phrase ‘sunlit uplands’ denotes an idealised or longed-for future time of happiness, prosperity, good fortune, etc. Popularised by Winston Churchill in 1940, this phrase has been associated with the bright future that Brexit was supposed to usher in.

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‘to study the history of the four kings’ (to play cards)

from ‘the history of the four kings’, punning on ‘the four kings’ (the four playing cards in a pack, each bearing a representation of a king) and ‘the Book of Kings’ (the name of two, formerly four, books of the Old Testament)

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‘charity dame’ | ‘charity moll’: meaning and origin

Australia—‘charity dame’ 1949—‘charity moll’ 1962—an amateur prostitute who charges less than the usual rate—from ‘Moll’, pet form of the female forename ‘Mary’, the noun ‘moll’ has long been used to designate a prostitute

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‘to pile Pelion upon Ossa’: meanings and origin

1609—to add to what is already great, also to add difficulty to difficulty—Pelion and Ossa are two mountains in Thessaly—in Greek mythology, two giants, Otus and Ephialtes, tried to pile Pelion and Ossa on Olympus in order to reach the gods and overthrow them

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