meaning and origin of ‘Hogs Norton’

The name Hogs Norton, also Hog’s Norton and Hogsnorton, denotes a fictional town renowned for its uncultured and boorish inhabitants. It has often been used in depreciative phrases suggesting that someone is a native or inhabitant of this town. These phrases have variously associated the name: – with present-day Hook Norton, a town in Oxfordshire […]

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meaning and origin of the phrase ‘as cold as charity’

The phrase (as) cold as charity refers to the perfunctory, unfeeling manner in which acts of charity are often done, and public charities administered. It originally alluded to the gospel of Matthew, 24:12, which is as follows in the Early Version (around 1382) of the Wycliffe Bible (wexe is the verb wax and means become, […]

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origin of ‘like a cat on hot bricks/on a hot tin roof’

The phrase like a cat on hot bricks and its American-English equivalent like a cat on a hot tin roof mean very agitated or anxious. An earlier form of the phrase was recorded by the English naturalist and theologian John Ray (1627–1705) in A Collection of English Proverbs (2nd edition – 1678): To go like […]

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origin of ‘one swallow does not make a summer’

MEANING   a single fortunate event doesn’t mean that what follows will also be good   ORIGIN   The annual migration of swallows to Europe from southern climes at the end of winter was the subject of a proverb in Ancient Greece: μία χελιδὼν ἔαρ οὐ ποιεῖ, in which ἔαρ means spring; it is found […]

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