‘here’s looking at you’ (used as a toast in drinking)

USA, 1871—The phrase ‘here’s looking at you’ is used as a toast in drinking. It is now widely associated with the American film Casablanca (1942), in which Humphrey Bogart addresses Ingrid Bergman with the words “Here’s looking at you, kid.”

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the curious history of ‘Quorn’ (meat substitute)

The name ‘Quorn’ was first registered as a trademark—for certain edible products other than meat substitutes—by the Quorn Specialities Company of Leicester, England, in 1914. The meat substitute was subsequently developed by the successors of this company.

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‘better red than dead’ – ‘better dead than red’

During the Cold War, especially in the context of a possible nuclear war, ‘better red than dead’ was used to warn against uncompromising opposition to communism, while ‘better dead than red’ was used to express unconditional opposition to communism.

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the authentic origin of ‘red herring’

Red herring, used in laying trails for hounds to follow, was misunderstood as a deliberate attempt to distract them, hence the figurative use of ‘red herring’.

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origin of ‘stirrup cup’ and of ‘one for the road’

Huntsmen still use stirrup cup to designate an alcoholic drink offered to riders either as they are about to depart or when they return. Mr. Barry Puilan, Master of the East Antrim Hounds, hands a stirrup cup to huntsman Jack Taylor during the meet at Trench Hill, Ballyeaston, yesterday. from The Northern Whig and Belfast […]

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origin of French ‘sanglier’ (full-grown wild boar)

The French masculine noun sanglier denotes a full-grown wild boar. It literally means a boar living on its own, separated from the herd, since, via Old and Middle French forms such as sengler and senglier, it is from the popular Latin singularis (porcus), solitary (pig) – cf. Middle-French terms such as porc sanglier, and in the Vulgate, the Latin version of the Bible, singularis ferus, the noun ferus meaning wild animal (cf. the […]

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meaning and origin of ‘to be barking up the wrong tree’

MEANING   The phrase to be barking up the wrong tree means to be pursuing a mistaken or misguided line of thought or course of action—cf. also origin of ‘gone coon’.   ORIGIN   In Americanisms, Old and New. A Dictionary of Words, Phrases and Colloquialisms peculiar to the United States, British America, the West Indies, […]

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meaning and origin of the term ‘stalking horse’

The forme and manner of the Stalking horse of Canuasse stopt. – from Hungers preuention: or, The whole arte of fowling by water and land Containing all the secrets belonging to that arte (1655 edition)   The term stalking horse originally denoted a horse trained to allow a fowler to conceal himself behind it or under […]

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