meaning and origin of the phrase ‘to play gooseberry’

PLAYING “GOOSEBERRY.” Incredible though the statement may sound in these days, there still exist shy and diffident lovers of both sexes to whom, before they are quite, quite sure of themselves or each other, the presence of a “gooseberry” acts at once as support and fillip. Naturally the sensible girl will select as gooseberry a […]

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meaning and origin of ‘far from the madding crowd’

  Thomas Gray (1747-48), by John Giles Eccardt image: National Portrait Gallery     The phrase far from the madding crowd is used in reference to a private or secluded place. It is an allusion to An Elegy wrote in a Country Church Yard (published in 1751), by the English poet Thomas Gray (1716-71). When he composed this poem, Thomas […]

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