the Shakespearean origin of ‘salad days’

‘salad days’: days of youthful inexperience—coined by Shakespeare in ‘Antony and Cleopatra’—alludes to the raw (green and cold) vegetables used in a salad

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origin of ‘all my eye and Betty Martin’

second half of the 18th century—a mere fanciful extension of ‘all my eye’—maintained in a sort of artificial life by persistent conjectures about its origin

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history of ‘Xmas’, abbreviated form of ‘Christmas’

  Chi-Rho – catacombs of San Callisto, Rome photograph: Dnalor 01/Wikimedia Commons     It is often said that the abbreviated form Xmas “takes the Christ out of Christmas”, but this is not the case. For example, a certain Reverend Thomas Eyre wrote to a Doctor Poynter on 25th January 1807: My Lord,—Your much esteemed favour of the 5th of December I […]

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