British origin of Gotham, nickname for New York City

Many centuries before becoming a nickname for New York City and the name of a fictional city associated with the Batman stories, Gotham was used in Britain as the name of a (probably fictional) village proverbial for the folly of its inhabitants.

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meaning and origin of the phrase ‘cold comfort’

  AUTHOR OF “COLD COMFORT FARM”: MISS STELLA GIBBONS. Miss Stella Gibbons’s novel has been most favourably reviewed. It is a well-sustained parody of the Loam-and-Love-child school of fiction. from The Sketch (London) of 21st September 1932     The expression cold comfort means inadequate consolation for a misfortune. The adjective cold has long been used to mean felt as cold […]

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meaning and origin of ‘to carry coals to Newcastle’

  A trainload of coal on the High Level Bridge in Newcastle photograph: Stephen Craven     MEANING   to carry coals to Newcastle: to supply something to a place where it is already plentiful; hence, figuratively, to do something wholly superfluous or unnecessary   ORIGIN   This phrase (in which coals is an obsolete […]

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