‘cupboard love’: meaning and origin

love or affection insincerely professed or displayed as a means of gaining a benefit or advantage—circa 1665—the image is of love given in return for food from a cupboard

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‘ember months’: meaning and origin

the final four months of the calendar year, i.e., September, October, November and December—UK, 1863—from ‘-ember’ in ‘September’, ‘November’ and ‘December’

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‘cannon fodder’ | ‘chair à canon’

soldiers regarded simply as material to be expended in war—‘cannon fodder’ (1847), said to have been coined after German ‘Kanonenfutter’—French ‘chair à canon’ (1814), first used in reference to Napoléon Bonaparte

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‘pizza face’: meaning and origin

a person with facial acne—Californian high-school slang, 1963—in this expression, the pimples caused by facial acne are likened to slices of pepperoni on a pizza

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‘prunes and prism(s)’: meaning and origin

a prim or affected facial expression or manner of speaking; affected mannerisms, superficial accomplishments—originally, in Little Dorrit (1857), by Charles Dickens, a phrase spoken aloud in order to form the lips into an attractive shape

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a British phrase: ‘to go like a bomb’

from the image of a speeding explosive projectile—primary meaning (of a motorcar, an aircraft, a motorcycle, an animal, a person): to move very fast—later (also ‘to go down like a bomb’ and ‘to go down a bomb’): to be very successful or popular

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