‘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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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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meaning and origin of the phrase ‘tit for tat’

The phrase tit for tat means an equivalent given in return or retaliation. The expression seems to be a variation of the obsolete and more comprehensible tip for tap, in which both tip and tap meant a light but distinct blow, stroke, hit. The phrase therefore meant blow for blow. The words tip and tap first appeared combined in Fortunes Stabilnes, by Charles d’Orléans (1394-1465). Context: the letter patent […]

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