the rise of the ‘pin-up girl’

‘pin-up’—US, 1941, in ‘pin-up girl’, denoting a woman being the subject of a picture that a serviceman displays on a locker-door, on a wall, etc.

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meanings of ‘Tom Tiddler’s ground’

a game in which the player who has the role of Tom Tiddler defends his territory against the others, who try to steal his money—hence a source of easy money

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some British uses of ‘the enemy within’

a threat within a community, nation, etc., as distinct from an external enemy—infamously used of British miners’ leaders by Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher in 1984

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origin of ‘castles in Spain’

In French medieval chansons de geste ‘castles in Spain’ denoted fiefs that had to be conquered from the Saracens by the knights to whom they had been granted.

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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 ‘to go haywire’

From the practice of using hay-baling wire for makeshift repairs, ‘haywire’ came to mean crudely made, improvised, hence disorganised, erratic, crazy.

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