everything but the kitchen sink

The phrase ‘everything but the kitchen sink’, or ‘the kitchen stove’, and variants mean ‘practically everything imaginable’—origin: USA, early 20th century

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meanings of ‘Tom Tiddler’s ground’

a game in which the player who has the role of Tom Tiddler defends his territory against the others, who try to steal his money—hence a source of easy money

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over the top

‘Over the top’, which means ‘excessive’, originated as a WWI expression meaning ‘over the parapet of a trench and into battle’.

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sot-l’y-laisse

The French word for the oyster-shaped piece of meat in the hollow of the pelvic bone of a fowl is ‘sot-l’y-laisse’, literally ‘(the) fool leaves it there’.

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peaceable kingdom

  one of the versions of The Peaceable Kingdom (circa 1834), by Edward Hicks image: National Gallery of Art (Washington DC)     The expression peaceable kingdom, in the sense of a state of harmony among all creatures as prophesied in the Book of Isaiah, 11:1-9, first appeared in the King James Version (1611):                       […]

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trick or treat

  London Weekend Television logo     Originally North American, the phrase trick or treat is a traditional formula used at Hallowe’en by children who call on houses threatening to play a trick unless given a treat or present. It is recent, since it is first recorded in The Lethbridge Herald (Alberta, Canada) of 4th November 1927: “TRICK OR TREAT” […]

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