‘ducks on the pond’: meaning and origin

Australia, 1982—a coded signal from a man to other men, indicating that a woman is approaching, so that they all moderate their language—originally used in shearing sheds, but now used in other places, especially in pubs

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‘everything’s apples’: meaning and origin

Australia, 1941—‘apples’ is used in phrases such as ‘everything’s apples’, meaning ‘everything is all right’—perhaps from ‘apple-pie order’—may have originated in the Australian armed forces’ slang during World War II

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‘Hughie’ (Australian usage): meanings and origin

1906—a familiar name jocularly given to a fanciful deity reputed to be in command of the weather—especially occurs in the phrase ‘send it down, Hughie!’, used to ask that deity to send the rain down from the heavens—also, in the surfers’ lingo: the god of the waves

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‘where there’s muck, there’s brass’: meaning and origin

UK, 1907—means that dirty or unpleasant activities can be lucrative—in early use: (1735) ‘where there’s muck, there’s luck’ and (1774) ‘where there’s muck, there’s money’—the synonymous proverb ‘muck and money go together’ was recorded in 1678

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‘aptronymic’, ‘aptonym’, etc.

USA—‘aptronymic’ 1915—‘aptonymic’ 1949—‘aptronym’ 1919—‘aptonym’ 1984—these nouns denote a person’s name that is regarded as amusingly appropriate to their profession or personal characteristics—from the adjective ‘apt’, meaning ‘appropriate in the circumstances’, and the suffixes ‘-onymic’ and ‘-onym’

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