‘Mr Nice Guy’ | ‘no more Mr Nice Guy’

USA—‘Mr Nice Guy’ (1952, first used of Perry Como): a pleasant, selfless, thoughtful person—‘no more Mr Nice Guy’ (1960): used to express that one has decided to stop being considerate of others and instead act exclusively in one’s own self-interest

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‘useful idiot’: meaning and origin

UK, 1864: a naive person who can be manipulated to advance a political agenda—USA, 1948 (1946 as ‘useful innocent’): with reference to a communist strategy designed to gain political power

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‘funny bone’: meaning and origin

UK, 1826—a place behind the bony point of the elbow at which a knock results in a sensation of tingling pain—in early use was perhaps partly punning on the homophones ‘humerus’ and ‘humorous’

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‘globaloney’: meaning and origin

USA, 1943—nonsensical or absurd talk or ideas concerning global issues—blend of ‘global’ and ‘baloney’—coined by Clare Boothe Luce in her maiden speech to the House of Representatives

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‘the whole caboodle’: meaning and origin

USA, 1839—the whole group or set of people, animals or things—origin unknown—perhaps from the Dutch expression ‘de hele kit en boedel’, meaning ‘the entire house and everything in it’

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‘the whole boodle’: meaning and origin

USA, 1814—the whole group or set of people, animals or things—corresponds to modern Dutch ‘de hele boel’ (earlier ‘de hele boedel’)—‘boodle’: from Dutch ‘boedel’, estate, property, a large quantity

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‘cahoot’: meaning and early occurrences

southern United States of America, 1827—used almost exclusively in the phrase ‘in cahoots’ (in early use ‘in cahoot’, ‘in cohoot’), meaning colluding or conspiring together secretly—origin unknown

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‘like a headless chicken’: meaning and origin

USA, 1853—in a panic-stricken and unthinking manner—alludes to the phenomenon whereby a chicken can move about for a short time after decapitation, due to reflex activity of the nervous system

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