‘every little helps’: meaning and origin

every contribution towards a goal is valuable, regardless of how small it may be—UK, 1707—in Britain, particularly associated with Tesco, which has used this phrase as its slogan since 1993

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‘Tardis’: meanings and origin

various meanings, in particular: something with a larger capacity than its outward appearance suggests—UK, 1968—the name, in TV series Doctor Who, of a time machine outwardly resembling a police telephone box, yet inwardly much larger

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‘not cricket’: meanings and origin

the game of cricket played in the incorrect manner or improper spirit—hence, more generally, something contrary to traditional standards of fairness or rectitude—UK, 19th century

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‘Black Hole of Calcutta’: meaning and origin

an oppressive, very confined or crowded space—UK, 1764—refers to the punishment cell at Fort William, Calcutta, in which, in 1756, the Nawab of Bengal reputedly confined British and Anglo-Indian prisoners

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‘Brylcreem Boy’: meanings and origin

UK, 1941—a fighter pilot in the Royal Air Force; also used by the military land forces of any member of the R.A.F.—originally referred to WWII advertisements for Brylcreem hair cream, featuring a fighter pilot

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‘blood wagon’: meaning and origin

UK—an ambulance (i.e., a vehicle designed to carry sick or injured people)—originally (Royal Air Force slang, 1921): a specially equipped airplane for carrying sick or injured people

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‘passion-killer’: meanings and origin

UK—anything which discourages or inhibits sexual activity—originally (1943, British military slang): the sturdy, practical and unattractive underwear issued to female service personnel

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‘Frankenstein’s monster’: meaning and origin

also ‘Frankenstein’—a creation over which the creator loses control, eventually being destroyed by it—UK, 1822—alludes to ‘Frankenstein; Or, The Modern Prometheus’ (1818), by Mary Shelley

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