‘kunlangeta’ (i.e. Boris Johnson): origin

Yupik—meaning: “his mind knows what to do but he does not do it”—applied to someone who consistently violates the norms of society in multiple ways—used in January 2022 by Dominic Cummings to describe Boris Johnson

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‘hikikomori’: meanings and origin

Japan 1990s—the extreme avoidance of social contact, especially by adolescent males; a person, typically an adolescent male, who avoids social contact—Japanese ‘hikikomori’ is the nominalised stem of the verb ‘hikikomoru’, meaning ‘to withdraw into seclusion’

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‘dementia Americana’: meaning and origin

USA, 1907—the (alleged) form of dementedness, leading to violence, that takes hold of a man who believes that his home has been invaded, or that his family has been violated—coined by attorney Delphin M. Delmas, who defended Harry K. Thaw in his first murder trial

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‘trigger-happy’: meaning and origin

USA, 1942—over-ready to shoot at anything at any time or on slight provocation—during and following WWII, ‘happy’ was used as the second element in compound adjectives relating to mental instability associated with the first element

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‘a cup of tea, a Bex and a good lie down’: meanings and origin

Australia, 1965—a panacea; a source of comfort; also indicates the need for a rest to settle down—originated in ‘A Cup of Tea, a Bex and a Good Lie Down’ (1965), a satiric revue by John McKellar—‘Bex’ was a proprietary name for a type of analgesic

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‘Fremantle doctor’: meaning and origin

Australia, 1873—a refreshing sea-breeze that blows into Fremantle and Perth after hot weather, especially in the evening—Fremantle is a port city in Western Australia, near Perth—with reference to the action of an onshore breeze against diseases, ‘doctor’ denotes, in Western Australia and in the West Indies, a cool sea-breeze which usually prevails during part of the day in summer

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‘wishful thinking’ | ‘wishful thinker’

USA—‘wishful thinking’, 1915: thinking in which one, consciously or unconsciously, interprets facts as one would like them to be rather than as they really are—‘wishful thinker’, 1917: a person who, consciously or unconsciously, interprets facts as he or she would like them to be rather than as they really are

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‘red-light district’: meaning and origin

USA, 1893—the part of a town or city in which prostitution and other commercial sexual activities are concentrated—originally used of Louisville, Kentucky—from the use of a red light as a sign outside a brothel

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‘Paris syndrome’: meaning and origin

1992—the culture shock experienced by an individual (typically a Japanese) who, when visiting, or living in, Paris, realises that this city does not fulfil their idealised expectations—apparently a loan translation from Japanese ‘Pari shōkōgun’, coined by Japanese psychiatrist Hiroaki Ōta

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