‘neatnik’: meaning and origin

USA, 1959—a very tidy, well-organised person—a blend of the adjective ‘neat’ and of the noun ‘beatnik’—originally occurred chiefly in contrast to ‘beatnik’

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‘to drink the Kool-Aid’: meanings and origin

USA, 1978—to commit suicide; to demonstrate unquestioning obedience or loyalty—alludes to a mass suicide, in 1978, by members of the Peoples’ Temple in Jonestown, Guyana, who drank a cyanide-laced drink thought to be similar to Kool-Aid

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‘croque-madame’: meanings and origin

1932—coined after ‘croque-monsieur’—a toasted or fried sandwich filled with ham and cheese and topped with a poached or fried egg—but originally denoted any of various types of toasted or fried sandwich

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‘kompromat’: meaning and origin

compromising information collected for use in blackmailing, discrediting or manipulating a person, group, etc.—borrowed from Russian (Soviet secret police) ‘kompromat’, from ‘kompro-’ in ‘komprometirujuščij’, meaning ‘compromising’, and ‘mat-’ in ‘material’, meaning ‘material’

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‘Jesus boots’: meanings and origin

American English—1902: bare feet (used of Doukhobors, i.e., members of a Christian sect that originated in Russia, many members of which emigrated to Canada in the late 19th and early 20th centuries)—1965: open-toed leather sandals of a simple or functional style (used of young persons)

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the various meanings of ‘French hours’

USA—of the French: (1954) a workday with a long midday break for a substantial meal and a sleep—of filmmaking in France: (1956) the workday, beginning at noon and without lunch break—of filmmaking in the USA: (2004) a workday without lunch break, during which food is constantly available

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‘flexitarian’: meaning and origin

USA, 1992 (1981?)—adjective: primarily but not strictly vegetarian—noun: a person who follows a primarily but not strictly vegetarian diet—a blend of ‘flexible’ and ‘vegetarian’

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‘cakeage’: meanings and origin

Australia, 1985—Coined after ‘corkage’, the noun ‘cakeage’ denotes, in a restaurant, the cutting and serving of a cake that has been brought in by a customer from off the premises, hence also a charge levied for this service.

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‘bottle show’, ‘bottle episode’: meaning and origin

USA—‘bottle show’ 1976—‘bottle episode’ 2003—an inexpensively produced episode of a television series that is written so that it requires only one set or scene and a limited number of cast members—may refer to the constrained nature of such episodes, or to pulling a genie out of a bottle

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