origin of ‘point-blank’

1571—probably from obsolete French ‘de pointe en blanc’, used of firing into empty space for the purpose of seeing how far a piece of artillery would carry

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a 19th-century document on English phrases

remarks on English phrases (‘to rain cats and dogs’, ‘tit for tat’, ‘the devil to pay’, etc.) – from Notes and Queries (London), 9th November 1861

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between the devil and the deep blue sea

early 17th century, with ‘the Dead Sea’ and ‘the deep sea’—originated in the image of a choice between damnation (‘the Devil’) and drowning (‘the sea’)

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meanings of ‘up in Annie’s room’

late 1910s: an answer to an enquiry as to the whereabouts of someone who cannot be found—1930s: the space at the top of the dartboard where scores are doubled

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everything but the kitchen sink

The phrase ‘everything but the kitchen sink’, or ‘the kitchen stove’, and variants mean ‘practically everything imaginable’—origin: USA, early 20th century

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