meaning and origin of ‘spick and span’

mid-17th cent. in the sense ‘brand new’—from ‘spick and span new’, extension of ‘span new’, from Old Norse ‘spán-nýr’, ‘as new as a freshly cut wooden chip’

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origin of the phrase ‘it’s Greek to me’

    The noun Greek has long been used in the sense of unintelligible speech or language, gibberish, and the phrase it’s (all) Greek to me means I can’t understand it at all. This expression is well known from The Tragedie of Julius Cæsar (1599), by the English playwright and poet William Shakespeare (1564-1616): (Folio […]

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meaning and origin of the phrase ‘a skeleton at the feast’

  Death comes to the table, by Giovanni Martinelli (1600-1659) image: The Art Tribune     The phrase a skeleton at the feast, or at the banquet, denotes a person or event that brings gloom or sadness to an occasion of joy or celebration. This was originally an allusion to the practice of the ancient Egyptians, as recorded by […]

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