‘like a Bondi tram’: meaning and origin

Australia, 1940—means ‘speedily’—refers to the tram service between Sydney, New South Wales, and Bondi Beach, a popular beach located 4 miles east of Sydney city centre

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‘Fiji uncle’: meaning and early occurrences

Australia, 1888—defined by Wilkes in A Dictionary of Australian Colloquialisms (1990) as “An imaginary rich uncle overseas, backing some venture in which the unwary may be persuaded to invest.”

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‘paper yabber’: meaning and origin

Australia, 1888—denotes a letter (i.e., a written message)—‘yabber’: as a noun, denotes speech, language, talk; as a verb, means to talk—from an aboriginal stem ‘ya’, meaning to speak

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‘“Hell!” said the duchess’: meanings and origin

originated (1915) as the jocular beginning, destined to grip the reader’s attention, of a hypothetical novel or short story—soon (1919) came to be also used either without precise meaning or as a jocular exclamation

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‘wogs begin at Calais’: meaning and origin

1947—is used to express an attitude of insularity and hostility to foreigners attributed to the British—a shortening of ‘golliwog’, the derogatory and offensive noun ‘wog’ designates a non-white person

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‘singing milkshake’: meaning and origin

1979—nickname given, in particular, to singer Olivia Newton-John—alludes to the type of popular music that (like a milkshake) is discarded as soon as it has been consumed

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