‘wogs begin at Calais’: meaning and origin

1947—is used to express an attitude of insularity and hostility to foreigners attributed to the British—a shortening of ‘golliwog’, the derogatory and offensive noun ‘wog’ designates a non-white person

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‘coconut (black)’: meaning and origin

Australia, 1981—used by some Aborigines of those who are considered to have betrayed their Aboriginal identity in order to be accepted into the white Australian society—the image is that (like the coconut, dark on the outside, but white on the inside) those Aboriginal ‘betrayers’ are outwardly black, but inwardly white

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‘jump up whitefellow’: meaning and origin

Australia, 1830—refers to the Aboriginal belief that light-skinned persons are reincarnations of dead Aborigines—extended forms: ‘jump up white fellow, plenty of sixpence’ and ‘go down blackfellow and jump up whitefellow’

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‘Coggeshall job’: meaning and origin

any muddle-headed business—UK, 1813—the stupidity of the people of Coggeshall, a small town in Essex, England, has been proverbial since the mid-17th century

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‘behind the eight ball’: meaning and origin

in trouble; at a disadvantage—USA, 1923—refers to a position in a game of pool in which a player cannot make a direct shot at the target ball because the black eight ball obstructs the cue ball

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history of the acronym ‘ACAB’

1970—British and Irish English—acronym from the phrase ‘all coppers are bastards’—customarily written (tattooed in particular) rather than spoken

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