meanings of ‘up in Annie’s room’

late 1910s: an answer to an enquiry as to the whereabouts of someone who cannot be found—1930s: the space at the top of the dartboard where scores are doubled

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origin of ‘skinflint’

attested 1699—from the hyperbolical phrase ‘to skin a flint’ (1656)—cf. ‘to skin a flea for its hide and tallow’ and French ‘tondre un œuf’ (‘to shave an egg’)

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origin of ‘to cut both ways’

to serve both sides of an argument; to have both good and bad effects—England, early 18th century—refers to a sword which has two cutting edges

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origin of ‘simon-pure’

1790—from the name of a Quaker who must prove his identity against an impostor’s claims in ‘A Bold Stroke for a Wife’ (1718), a comedy by Susanna Centlivre

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meaning and origin of ‘pogue’

Via Irish ‘póg’, Irish-English ‘pogue’ (a kiss) is from ecclesiastical Latin ‘pacem’ (kiss of peace)—the name of the band is from ‘pogue mahone’ (kiss my arse).

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meaning and origin of ‘incunabula’

Latin ‘incunabula’: ‘swaddling clothes’, hence ‘beginning’—denotes the early printed books (from the 1450s to the end of the 15th century)

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Eating in the Romance languages

In Latin, short words having complicated irregularities in their forms gave way to simpler words with regular patterns and longer phonetic individualities.

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a Northern-English word: ‘mardy’

‘mardy’: ‘sulky’, ‘moody’—from ‘mard’, dialectal alteration of ‘marred’, meaning, of a child, ‘spoilt’, and the suffix ‘-y’, meaning ‘having the qualities of’

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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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