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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meaning and origin of ‘the devil to pay’

refers to a person making a pact with the Devil: the heavy price has to be paid in the end—unrelated to the nautical phrase ‘the devil to pay and no pitch hot’

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‘shiver my timbers’

British, 18th century—a mock oath attributed to sailors, meaning ‘may my ship’s beams be broken into pieces’—early variants used by Tobias Smollett

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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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origin of ‘all my eye and Betty Martin’

second half of the 18th century—a mere fanciful extension of ‘all my eye’—maintained in a sort of artificial life by persistent conjectures about its origin

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origin of ‘according to Gunter’

‘according to Gunter’: correctly; reliably—early 18th century, from the name of the English mathematician Edmund Gunter (1581-1626)

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