origin of ‘according to Hoyle’

‘according to Hoyle’: according to plan or the rules—early 19th century: from the name of Edmond Hoyle (1672-1769), English writer on card games

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meanings and origin of ‘Maundy’

originally the washing of poor persons’ feet – from ‘mandatum novum’, ‘a new commandment’, in the discourse following Jesus’ washing of the apostles’ feet

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meaning and origin of ‘Box and Cox’

from the name of an 1847 farce in which a landlady lets out, unbeknown to them, the same room to two tenants, Box and Cox, the one by day, the other by night

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meaning and 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 ‘gas and gaiters’

coined by Charles Dickens in Nicholas Nickleby (1839) in a comic passage in which an insane speaker makes a series of nonsensical statements

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pipe dream

pipe dream: American English, late 19th century—originally with reference to the kind of visions experienced when smoking an opium pipe

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Kindertransport

Kindertransport (from German ‘Kinder’, children): operation from 1938 to 1940 to evacuate (mostly Jewish) children from Nazi-controlled areas of Europe to the UK

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pigs might fly

The original form of this phrase was ‘pigs fly with their tails forward’. Also: the French, Italian, Portuguese and Spanish equivalent expressions.

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origin of ‘quiz’

Originally students’ slang, ‘quiz’ is from Latin ‘quis’, meaning ‘who’, as used by the Roman poet Horace in “vir bonus est quis?”, “who is a good man?”

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