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 ‘to walk one’s chalks’

to go off—19th cent.—from a procedure consisting in making a person walk on a straight line drawn with chalk in order to establish whether they are inebriated

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origin of ‘by a long chalk’

‘by a long chalk’: in a great degree, by far — 19th century, from the practice of using chalk to mark up the points scored in a game

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‘adultescent’ and its synonyms

blend of ‘adult’ and ‘adolescent’: adult who has retained the interests, behaviour or lifestyle of adolescence — origin USA, first attested in 1945

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origin of ‘out of the blue’

from ‘a bolt out of the blue’, denoting a sudden and unexpected event, with reference to the unlikelihood of a thunderbolt coming from a clear blue sky

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cross my heart (and hope to die)

origin: USA – 2nd half of the 19th century – from the action of making a small sign of the cross over one’s heart, which sometimes accompanies the words

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origin of ‘to go haywire’

From the practice of using hay-baling wire for makeshift repairs, ‘haywire’ came to mean crudely made, improvised, hence disorganised, erratic, crazy.

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origin of ‘first catch your hare’

‘First catch your hare’ (early 19th cent.): originated in popular humour ascribing this phrase to ‘The Art of Cookery’ (1st published 1747), by Hannah Glasse

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