the long history of ‘blues’

‘blues’—from ‘blue’ (‘sorrowful’) and elliptically from ‘blue devils’ (‘depression’)—originally a metaphorical use of ‘blue’ (‘bruised’), as in ‘black and blue’

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the rise of the ‘pin-up girl’

‘pin-up’—US, 1941, in ‘pin-up girl’, denoting a woman being the subject of a picture that a serviceman displays on a locker-door, on a wall, etc.

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earliest instance of ‘tooth fairy’

‘tooth fairy’—USA, 1908: a fairy believed by children to take away milk teeth and leave a small sum of money or a small gift under the child’s pillow

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tour d’ivoire – ivory tower

1837—used by Sainte-Beuve to describe French poet Vigny’s seclusion in a turret room and preoccupation with inspiration unconnected with practical matters

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a nod is as good as a wink

‘a nod’s as good as a wink (to a blind horse)’ 18th century—acknowledges that a hint or suggestion has been understood without the need of further elaboration

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