‘holier-than-thou’: meaning and origin

self-righteously or sanctimoniously virtuous, or professing to be so—UK, 1834—alludes to the Book of Isaiah, 65:5: “Stand by thyself, come not near to me; for I am holier than thou.”

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‘Roman holiday’: meaning and origin

an occasion on which enjoyment or profit is derived from the suffering or discomfiture of others—UK, 1836—alludes to the description of a gladiator dying in a Roman arena in Childe Harold’s Pilgrimage (1818), by Byron

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‘pig in a python’: meanings and origin

Canada, 1970—the people who were born during the ‘baby boom’ of the years immediately following WWII, considered as a demographic bulge—any short-term increase or notably large group

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‘Guardianista’: meaning and origin

a reader of, or a writer in, The Guardian, seen as being typically left-wing, liberal and politically correct—UK, 1997—The Guardian is a centre-left newspaper published in London and Manchester, England

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‘cannon fodder’ | ‘chair à canon’

soldiers regarded simply as material to be expended in war—‘cannon fodder’ (1847), said to have been coined after German ‘Kanonenfutter’—French ‘chair à canon’ (1814), first used in reference to Napoléon Bonaparte

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‘wokerati’: meaning and origin

USA, 2019, derogatory—people (regarded as elitist and pretentious) who are alert to racial or social discrimination and injustice—a blend of the adjective ‘woke’ and of the noun ‘literati’

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‘honest Injun’: meaning and origin

used as an interjection to assert truthfulness, honour or sincerity—USA, 1851, as ‘honest Indian’—perhaps alludes to the fact that, in their past interactions with Europeans, Native Americans had to give assurance of their good faith

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‘to keep the bastards honest’: meaning and origin

to ensure that politicians, large business organisations, etc., behave fairly and openly, and are accountable for their actions—Australia, 1980—coined by Don Chipp, Leader of the Australian Democrats, with reference to the major political parties

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