‘trolley-dash’: meanings and origin

UK—1977: an event in which the winner of a game or competition is entitled to a set period of free shopping in a supermarket or other store, the object being to place as many products as possible in a shopping trolley during that time—1994: a quick or rushed shopping trip around a supermarket or other store

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‘to trail one’s coat’: meaning and origin

UK, 1837—to go out of one’s way to start a quarrel or a fight—refers to the Irish practice of dragging one’s coat behind one in the expectation that somebody will, intentionally or unintentionally, step on it and provide the pretext needed for a quarrel or a fight

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‘home is where the heart is’: meaning and origin

means that the place with which one has the strongest emotional connection is the place that one regards as home—first occurred in October 1828, in an unsigned poem published in The Winter’s Wreath, an annual published in London

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‘iron maiden’: meaning and origin

1757, as a loan translation of German ‘Eiserne Jungfer’ (German text published in 1740)—1837, as a loan translation of German ‘Eiserne Jungfrau’—an instrument of torture, supposedly used during the Middle Ages, consisting of an upright coffin-shaped box lined with iron spikes, into which the victim is shut

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‘like a red rag to a bull’: meaning and origin

‘red rag’—a piece of red cloth used to provoke an animal—hence, figuratively, a source of provocation or annoyance, something which excites violent indignation—the notion occurs in the late 16th century

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