‘Johnny Foreigner’: meaning and origin

UK, 1899—derogatory—a foreigner; a personification of foreign people—‘Johnny’ is used with modifying word to designate a person of the type, group, profession, etc., specified

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‘Johnny Arab’: meaning and origin

UK, 1920—an Arab man—‘Johnny’, a pet form of ‘John’, is used, with modifying word, to designate a person, especially a man, of the type, group, profession, etc., specified

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‘freedom fries’: meaning and origin

USA, 2003—Following France’s opposition to the proposed U.S.-led invasion of Iraq, the expression ‘freedom fries’ was substituted for ‘French fries’. This, and other expressions in which ‘freedom’ was substituted for ‘French’, may have been coined almost simultaneously by various persons, independently from each other.

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‘Eve-teasing’: meaning and origin

India, 1958—euphemistic appellation for verbal or physical sexual harassment of a woman by a man in a public place—refers to Eve, the first woman in the biblical account of the creation of the world, who is seen as a temptress

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‘government stroke’: meaning and origin

Australia, 1837—the deliberately slow pace of work characteristic of public-sector workers—originally used of convict labourers—in Australia as a penal colony, unease about the word ‘convict’ led to the creation of euphemistic terms such as ‘government man’ and ‘public servant’

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‘Dickless Tracy’: meanings and origin

USA, 1963—a female police officer or a female traffic warden—puns on ‘dick’, slang for a man’s penis, and the name of Dick Tracy, a comic-strip detective created in 1931 by the U.S. cartoonist Chester Gould

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‘Johnny Crapaud’: meanings and origin

UK, 1805—personifies France or the French people, or designates a typical Frenchman—composed of ‘Johnny’, a pet form of ‘John’ used, with modifying word, to designate a person of the type, group, etc., specified, and of French ‘crapaud’ (a toad)—coined by British sailors during the Napoleonic Wars

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