‘winedot’: meaning and origin

Australia, 1933—an addict of cheap wine or/and of methylated spirits—apparently coined jocularly after ‘Wyandotte’, denoting a domestic chicken of a medium-sized American breed

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‘the big smoke’: meanings and origins

Australian English, 1848: any urban area (said to be of Aboriginal origin)—Irish and British English, 1862: Dublin and London—alludes to smoke as characteristic of an urban area

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an Australian use of ‘grasshopper’

1950—‘grasshopper’ and its shortened form ‘grassy’, typically used in the plural, denote a tourist, especially a visitor to Canberra—the image is that a coachload of tourists is similar to a swarm of grasshoppers

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‘Mr. Plod’: meaning and origin

UK, 1963—‘Mr. Plod’, also ‘P.C. Plod’, ‘Plod’: a humorous or mildly derogatory appellation for a policeman or for the police—alludes to ‘Mr. Plod’, the name of the policeman in stories by the English author of children’s fiction Enid Blyton

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‘brown bomber’: meaning and origin

Australia, 1950—a traffic warden in the state of New South Wales—‘brown’ probably refers to the colour of those traffic wardens’ uniform—‘bomber’ may refer to the fact that many of those traffic wardens were originally war veterans; or perhaps to the Australian-English use of the noun ‘bomb’ for an old car

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Spanish ‘costa’ in invented place names

In reference to the names of various stretches of the Spanish Mediterranean coast which are popular with British holidaymakers, the Spanish noun ‘costa’ is used humorously as the first element in various invented place names.

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‘kompromat’: meaning and origin

compromising information collected for use in blackmailing, discrediting or manipulating a person, group, etc.—borrowed from Russian (Soviet secret police) ‘kompromat’, from ‘kompro-’ in ‘komprometirujuščij’, meaning ‘compromising’, and ‘mat-’ in ‘material’, meaning ‘material’

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‘Eve-teasing’: meaning and origin

India, 1958—euphemistic appellation for verbal or physical sexual harassment of a woman by a man in a public place—refers to Eve, the first woman in the biblical account of the creation of the world, who is seen as a temptress

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