‘martini lunch’: meaning and origin

USA, 1950—a midday meal, with several martinis taken as aperitifs, enjoyed by businessmen, and/or politicians, and/or federal-government employees—especially in ‘two-martini lunch’ and ‘three-martini lunch’

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‘better than a poke in the eye with a sharp stick’

British and Irish English, 1833—denotes qualified pleasure—also: ‘to give [someone] a poke in the eye (with a — stick)’, meaning to deprecate [someone]—from ‘a poke in the eye’, denoting something undesirable

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‘Jimmy Woodser’: meaning and origin

Australia, 1876—a person drinking alone at a bar; a drink taken alone—origin unknown—perhaps related to ‘Johnny Warder’, denoting “an idle drunkard who hangs about pub corners looking for a drink”

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‘spit and sawdust’: meaning and origin

UK, 1928—of a public-house: very basic and lacking in comforts—refers to the former practice of covering the floor of a public-house with sawdust into which customers spat

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‘singing milkshake’: meaning and origin

1979—nickname given, in particular, to singer Olivia Newton-John—alludes to the type of popular music that (like a milkshake) is discarded as soon as it has been consumed

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