‘Mallaby-Deeley’: meanings and origin

a cheap suit of clothes; a (cut-price) tailoring business—UK, 1920, informal—refers to Harry Mallaby-Deeley (1863-1937), a Member of Parliament who opened a cut-price tailoring business in 1920

Read More

‘to rob Peter to pay Paul’: meanings and origin

to take away from one person, cause, etc., in order to pay or confer something on another; to discharge one debt by incurring another—late 14th century—from the association of ‘Peter’ and ‘Paul’, the names of two leading apostles and saints, and fellow martyrs at Rome

Read More

‘yellow peril’: meaning and origin

the political, military or economical threat regarded as being posed by certain peoples of South-East and East Asia, especially the Chinese and the Japanese—UK, 1895—loan translation from French ‘péril jaune’

Read More

‘pig in a python’: meanings and origin

Canada, 1970—the people who were born during the ‘baby boom’ of the years immediately following WWII, considered as a demographic bulge—any short-term increase or notably large group

Read More

‘Guardianista’: meaning and origin

a reader of, or a writer in, The Guardian, seen as being typically left-wing, liberal and politically correct—UK, 1997—The Guardian is a centre-left newspaper published in London and Manchester, England

Read More

‘to keep the bastards honest’: meaning and origin

to ensure that politicians, large business organisations, etc., behave fairly and openly, and are accountable for their actions—Australia, 1980—coined by Don Chipp, Leader of the Australian Democrats, with reference to the major political parties

Read More