‘Mexican overdrive’: meaning and origin

the practice of coasting downhill in a motor vehicle, with the engine disengaged—USA, 1949, lorry-drivers’ slang—one of the phrases in which ‘Mexican’ denotes basic devices or processes compared unfavourably with more advanced equivalents

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‘sex and shopping’: meaning and origin

a genre of popular fiction featuring wealthy and glamorous characters who typically engage in frequent sexual encounters and extravagant spending—USA, 1985 & 1986, in reference to British novelist Jackie Collins and U.S. novelist Judith Krantz

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‘keytar’: meaning and origin

a synthesizer designed to be held in the manner of a guitar, with one hand playing a keyboard while the other operates controls on an extended handle—USA, 1979—from ‘key-’ in ‘keyboard’ and ‘-tar’ in ‘guitar’

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‘to give a raspberry’: meanings and origin

‘raspberry’: a rude sound (suggestive of breaking wind) made by blowing with the tongue between the lips, as an expression of mockery or contempt—UK, 1888—‘raspberry’ (short for ‘raspberry tart’): rhyming slang for ‘fart’

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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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‘Château Plonk’: meaning and origin

wine, especially cheap wine of inferior quality—UK, 1973—from ‘château’ (as used in names of expensive wines of superior quality made at vineyard estates) and ‘plonk’, denoting cheap wine of inferior quality

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‘mockumentary’: meaning and early occurrences

denotes a film, television programme, etc., which adopts the form of a serious documentary in order to satirise its subject—apparently first used (and perhaps coined) in 1952 by the Canadian television producer Ross McLean

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‘Johnny Canuck’: meanings and origin

USA, 1858—a personification of the Canadian nation; Canadian people collectively; as a count noun: a Canadian—from ‘Canuck’, meaning Canadian—‘Johnny’ is used with modifying word to designate a person of the type, group, profession, etc., specified

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