the origin of ‘bully’?

noun (late 17th cent.), perhaps from ‘bull’ (= bovine)—possibly distinct from ‘bully’ (mid-16th cent.), ‘darling’, probably from Middle Dutch ‘boele’, ‘lover’

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origin of ‘a little bird told me’

1711 in a letter by Jonathan Swift—perhaps from Ecclesiastes, 10:20: “a bird of the air shall carry the voice; and that which hath wings, shall tell the matter”

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between the devil and the deep blue sea

early 17th century, with ‘the Dead Sea’ and ‘the deep sea’—originated in the image of a choice between damnation (‘the Devil’) and drowning (‘the sea’)

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