‘my giddy aunt!’: meaning and origin

UK, 1890—the dated jocular exclamations ‘my giddy aunt!’, ‘my sainted aunt!’, etc., express surprise, consternation, etc.—they are extended forms of the exclamation ‘my aunt!’

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‘like a Bondi tram’: meaning and origin

Australia, 1940—means ‘speedily’—refers to the tram service between Sydney, New South Wales, and Bondi Beach, a popular beach located 4 miles east of Sydney city centre

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‘Fiji uncle’: meaning and early occurrences

Australia, 1888—defined by Wilkes in A Dictionary of Australian Colloquialisms (1990) as “An imaginary rich uncle overseas, backing some venture in which the unwary may be persuaded to invest.”

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‘“Hell!” said the duchess’: meanings and origin

originated (1915) as the jocular beginning, destined to grip the reader’s attention, of a hypothetical novel or short story—soon (1919) came to be also used either without precise meaning or as a jocular exclamation

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‘wogs begin at Calais’: meaning and origin

1947—is used to express an attitude of insularity and hostility to foreigners attributed to the British—a shortening of ‘golliwog’, the derogatory and offensive noun ‘wog’ designates a non-white person

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