the probable origin of the word ‘posh’

  One of the earliest instances of posh is from a cartoon published in Punch, or The London Charivari (London, England) of 25th September 1918. An RAF officer is talking to his mother: “Oh, yes, Mater, we had a posh time of it down there.” “Whatever do you mean by ‘posh,’ Gerald?” “Don’t you know? […]

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origin and history of the word ‘shoplifting’

MEANING   the action of stealing goods from a shop while pretending to be a customer   ORIGIN   The slang use of the verb lift to mean to steal something from (a shop, etc.) seems to date back to the 16th century. One of the earliest attestations of this usage refers to the London […]

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meaning and origin of ‘donkey’s years’

MEANING   The phrase donkey’s years means a very long time.   ORIGIN   This expression is inseparable from donkey’s ears. In fact, these two expressions were originally a single one, donkey’s years being simply a dialectal pronunciation of donkey’s ears—or the other way around. And donkey’s ears/years (also donkeys’ ears/years) was part of a […]

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