‘paper yabber’: meaning and origin

Australia, 1888—denotes a letter (i.e., a written message)—‘yabber’: as a noun, denotes speech, language, talk; as a verb, means to talk—from an aboriginal stem ‘ya’, meaning to speak

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‘Mondayitis’: meaning and early occurrences

reluctance to attend school or work, or a reduction in working efficiency, experienced on a Monday morning—UK and USA, 1908; Australia, 1910—the suffix ‘-itis’ is applied to a state of mind or tendency fancifully regarded as a disease

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history of ‘Emma Chisit’ and ‘Strine’

Australia, 1964—‘Emma Chisit’: ‘how much is it?’ (allegedly coined by English author Monica Dickens, who reportedly misunderstood the question posed by an Australian)—‘Strine’: Australian pronunciation of ‘Australian’ (coined by Australian author Alistair Morrison)

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history of the croque-monsieur

France, 1891; UK, 1908—a sandwich filled with ham and cheese, and toasted or grilled—from ‘croque’, conjugated form of the verb ‘croquer’, to bite, to crunch, and the noun ‘monsieur’ (the reason that this noun was chosen is unknown)

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‘English as she is spoke’: meaning and origin

broken English—UK, 1883—from ‘English As She is Spoke: or A Jest in Sober Earnest’ (London: Field & Tuer, 1883), title given to a book intended as a Portuguese-English conversational guide

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‘Oxford comma’: meaning and origin

a comma immediately preceding the conjunction in a list of items—1978—named after the preferred use of such a comma in the house style of Oxford University Press

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‘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

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