‘Frankenstein’s monster’: meaning and origin

also ‘Frankenstein’—a creation over which the creator loses control, eventually being destroyed by it—UK, 1822—alludes to ‘Frankenstein; Or, The Modern Prometheus’ (1818), by Mary Shelley

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‘ye gods and little fishes!’: meaning and origin

expresses indignation, disbelief or amazement—USA, 1818—expanded form of the exclamation ‘ye gods’—perhaps a reference to the miracle of the loaves and fishes fed to the five thousand in the gospel of Matthew

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‘to come a cropper’: meanings and origin

(literally): to fall heavily; (figuratively): to fail completely—UK, 1847—‘cropper’ may be derived from ‘crop’ in the phrase ‘neck and crop’ (1791), which originally referred to a heavy fall

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‘pig in a python’: meanings and origin

Canada, 1970—the people who were born during the ‘baby boom’ of the years immediately following WWII, considered as a demographic bulge—any short-term increase or notably large group

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‘humongous’: meaning and origin

extremely large, huge, enormous—USA, 1967—of uncertain origin; probably a factitious adjective coined on the suffix ‘-ous’, influenced by ‘hugeous’ and ‘monstrous’, and perhaps by the stress-patterns of ‘stupendous’, ‘tremendous’, etc.

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