‘Château Plonk’: meaning and origin

wine, especially cheap wine of inferior quality—UK, 1973—from ‘château’ (as used in names of expensive wines of superior quality made at vineyard estates) and ‘plonk’, denoting cheap wine of inferior quality

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‘imbuggerance’ (absolute indifference)

Particularly in Australian English, with reference to the phrase ‘not to care a bugger’, meaning ‘not to care at all’, the noun ‘imbuggerance’, also ‘embuggerance’, denotes ‘absolute indifference’.

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‘to pull out all the stops’: meaning and origin

to do everything possible to achieve a result or effect—UK, 1865 (as ‘to pull out a few more stops’)—alludes to pulling out all the stops of an organ in order to produce a full and thrilling sound

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‘leather and prunella’: meaning and origin

something of no value, something to which one is utterly indifferent—UK, 1785—derives from a misinterpretation of “Worth makes the Man, and Want of it the Fellow;/The rest, is all but Leather or Prunella.” in An Essay on Man (1734), by Alexander Pope

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‘poacher turned gamekeeper’: meaning and origin

a person who now preserves the interests that he or she previously attacked—UK, 19th century—but the notion occurred in Chaucer’s Physician’s Tale and ‘the greatest deer-stealers make the best park-keepers’ in The Church-History of Britain (1655)

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‘Kensington Gore’ (as applied to artificial blood)

UK, 1971—a pun on ‘Kensington Gore’, the name of a thoroughfare in London, and on the noun ‘gore’, denoting blood shed from a wound—it is unclear whether ‘Kensington Gore’ (as applied to artificial blood) was originally a trademark

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‘Iron Weathercock’ (as applied to Liz Truss)

UK, 2022— translates French ‘girouette de fer’—a derisive nickname for Liz Truss, in reference both to ‘Iron Lady’ (a nickname for Margaret Thatcher) and to Liz Truss’s changing views on a variety of subjects

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