‘fang-farrier’: meaning and origin

a dentist—World War Two—slang of the British armed forces—was soon adopted into (and came to be regarded as) Australian English—earlier synonyms: ‘fang-faker’ and ‘fang-wrencher’

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‘churchyard cough’: meaning and origin

UK, 1677—a bad cough indicative of impending death—with allusion to the churchyard as the site of burial, ‘churchyard’ has been used attributively of something indicative of, or associated with, (impending) death

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‘until Nelson gets his eye back’: meaning and origin

UK and Ireland—with reference to the fact that Horatio Nelson was blinded in one eye—(1922) ‘until/when Nelson gets his eye back’ is used of a very long time in the future—(1933) the metaphor of Nelson getting his eye back is used of a very small chance of success

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‘a fart in a spacesuit’: meaning and origin

UK, 1980—denotes someone or something that is unwelcome, unpopular, etc.—first recorded in a remark by the Scottish comedian Billy Connolly, but perhaps originated in Royal-Navy slang

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‘Piccadilly window’: meaning and origin

UK, 1897—‘Piccadilly window’: a monocle—hence ‘Piccadilly-windowed’: monocled—alludes to ‘Piccadilly’, the name of a street and of a circus (i.e., a rounded open space) in London

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‘Alexandra limp’: meaning and origin

UK, 1869—a limping gait affected by some members of fashionable society in imitation of Alexandra of Denmark, who developed a limp after contracting rheumatic fever in 1867—‘Alexandra’ was used to form compounds designating things popularised by, or associated with, Alexandra of Denmark, consort of Edward VII

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‘fatberg ’ | ‘concreteberg’

UK—2008 ‘fatberg’, after ‘iceberg’: a large mass of fat and waste material in a sewerage system—originally a large lump of congealed cooking fat washed up on a beach—2019 ‘concreteberg’, after ‘fatberg’: a large mass of concrete in a sewerage system, consisting of cement that has been poured down a drain

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‘wetback’ and its sardonic variant ‘dryback’

USA, 1920: ‘wetback’: an illegal immigrant who crossed the Rio Grande from Mexico to the USA—by extension: any illegal immigrant who entered a foreign country by swimming—Mexico and USA, 1994: ‘espaldas secas’, i.e., ‘dry backs’: the U.S. citizens working in Mexico as a result of the North American Free Trade Agreement

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