‘Queensberry rules’: meanings and origin

UK, 1872—the standard rules of boxing— figuratively: the standard rules of polite or acceptable behaviour—named after John Sholto Douglas, 8th Marquess of Queensberry, who supervised the preparation of the rules of boxing

Read More

‘damaged goods’ and venereal disease

1911—‘Damaged Goods’, translation of ‘Les Avariés’, by French dramatist Eugène Brieux, about the dangers of ignorance concerning sexually transmitted diseases

Read More

history of the phrase ‘tin Jesus’

USA, 1874, as ‘a little tin Jesus on wheels’—in reference to tin as a base metal, ‘tin’ is used figuratively in the senses ‘petty’, ‘worthless’, ‘counterfeit’

Read More