‘if my aunt had balls’ | ‘si ma tante en avait’

used to rebuke an unrealistic conditional—USA, 1808: ‘if my aunt had been my uncle, what would have been her gender?’—France, 1843: ‘si ma tante était un homme, ça serait mon oncle’ (‘if my aunt were a man, that would be my uncle’)

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‘a word in your shell-like’: meaning and origin

a word in confidence—UK, 1927—‘shell-like’ elliptical for ‘shell-like ear’, which was originally a poetical term associating the shape of the external ear with the graceful convolutions of a small pink seashell

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