‘green thumb’: meaning and origin

British, 1907—denotes considerable talent or ability to grow plants—in this phrase, the adjective ‘green’ refers to the colour of growing vegetation—1921: ‘green-thumbed’ (adjective)

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‘green fingers’: meaning and origin

British, 1906—denotes considerable talent or ability to grow plants—in this phrase, the adjective ‘green’ refers to the colour of growing vegetation—1914: ‘green-fingered’ (adjective)

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‘to be not so green as one is cabbage-looking’

Australia, 1865—to be less of a fool than one appears to be—this phrase plays on two uses of the adjective ‘green’: 1) denoting the colour of growing vegetation, grass, etc. 2) denoting an inexperienced or naive person

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‘trolley-dash’: meanings and origin

UK—1977: an event in which the winner of a game or competition is entitled to a set period of free shopping in a supermarket or other store, the object being to place as many products as possible in a shopping trolley during that time—1994: a quick or rushed shopping trip around a supermarket or other store

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‘off one’s trolley’: meanings and origin

USA, 1888—deranged, irrational (also, in early use, drunk)—based on the image of a trolley-wheel coming off its trolley-wire—‘trolley’, also ‘trolley-wheel’: a pulley at the end of a pole, for transmitting electric current from an overhead wire to the motor of a trolley-car

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‘Manhattanhenge’: meaning and origin

a phenomenon in which the sun rises or sets in alignment with the streets that run east to west on the street grid of Manhattan, a borough of New York City—from ‘Manhattan’ and ‘-henge’, in ‘Stonehenge’, the name of a megalithic monument in England—coined by U.S. astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson

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‘to trail one’s coat’: meaning and origin

UK, 1837—to go out of one’s way to start a quarrel or a fight—refers to the Irish practice of dragging one’s coat behind one in the expectation that somebody will, intentionally or unintentionally, step on it and provide the pretext needed for a quarrel or a fight

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