‘yellow peril’: meaning and origin

the political, military or economical threat regarded as being posed by certain peoples of South-East and East Asia, especially the Chinese and the Japanese—UK, 1895—loan translation from French ‘péril jaune’

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‘pizza face’: meaning and origin

a person with facial acne—Californian high-school slang, 1963—in this expression, the pimples caused by facial acne are likened to slices of pepperoni on a pizza

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‘panda’ (as applied to a pedestrian crossing)

UK, 1962—a type of pedestrian crossing distinguished by black-and-white chevrons marked on the road, and having traffic warning lights activated by people wishing to cross—alludes to the black-and-white fur of the giant panda

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‘brown bomber’: meaning and origin

Australia, 1950—a traffic warden in the state of New South Wales—‘brown’ probably refers to the colour of those traffic wardens’ uniform—‘bomber’ may refer to the fact that many of those traffic wardens were originally war veterans; or perhaps to the Australian-English use of the noun ‘bomb’ for an old car

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‘Spam medal’: meaning and origin

military slang, 1944—a medal awarded to all members of a force—especially the 1939-1945 Star, awarded to British service personnel who took part in WWII—refers to the ubiquitousness of Spam as a foodstuff

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