tour d’ivoire – ivory tower

1837—used by Sainte-Beuve to describe French poet Vigny’s seclusion in a turret room and preoccupation with inspiration unconnected with practical matters

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origin of ‘to break the ice’

from the image of breaking the frozen surface of a river in order to make a passage for boats – probably from Latin ‘scindere glaciem’, in Erasmus’s Adages

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some British uses of ‘the enemy within’

a threat within a community, nation, etc., as distinct from an external enemy—infamously used of British miners’ leaders by Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher in 1984

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meaning and origin of ‘Vicar of Bray’

one who changes their principles to suit the circumstances—from a vicar who was twice a Catholic and twice a Protestant from Henry VIII to Elizabeth I’s reigns

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origin of ‘Froggy’ (French)

mid-19th cent.—perhaps from a specific application of the general term of abuse ‘Frog’, aided by the shared initial consonant cluster in ‘French’ and ‘frog’

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origin of ‘according to Gunter’

‘according to Gunter’: correctly; reliably—early 18th century, from the name of the English mathematician Edmund Gunter (1581-1626)

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origin of ‘according to Hoyle’

‘according to Hoyle’: according to plan or the rules—early 19th century: from the name of Edmond Hoyle (1672-1769), English writer on card games

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