‘svengali’: meaning and early occurrences

1894—(depreciative) someone who has a controlling influence over another—from the name of the hypnotist under whose spell Trilby falls in ‘Trilby’ (1894), by George Du Maurier

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notes on the phrase ‘social distancing’

21st century: the practice of maintaining a certain distance between oneself and other people in order to prevent infection with a disease—20th century: the practice of maintaining a degree of remoteness or emotional separation from another person or social group

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history of the acronym ‘ACAB’

1970—British and Irish English—acronym from the phrase ‘all coppers are bastards’—customarily written (tattooed in particular) rather than spoken

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