origin of ‘to be part and parcel of’

from the legal formula ‘part and parcel’, in which both nouns meant ‘an integral portion of something’, the second noun merely reinforcing the first

Read More

‘spare the rod and spoil the child’

first recorded in ‘Hudibras’ (1664), by Samuel Butler—from the first half of ‘Proverbs’, 13:24: “Whoever spares the rod hates their children.”

Read More

origin of ‘a little bird told me’

1711 in a letter by Jonathan Swift—perhaps from Ecclesiastes, 10:20: “a bird of the air shall carry the voice; and that which hath wings, shall tell the matter”

Read More

origin of ‘one’s best bib and tucker’

18th century, of women’s clothes—‘bib’: a piece of cloth worn between throat and waist; ‘tucker’: a piece of lace or linen worn in or around the top of a bodice

Read More

the origin of ‘spud’ (potato)

The noun ‘spud’, originally the name for the digging implement used to dig up potatoes, was applied to the latter in the 19th century.

Read More