meaning and origin of ‘the milk in the coconut’

‘the milk in the coconut’: a puzzling fact or circumstance; alludes to the question of how the milk got into the coconut—of British-English origin (1832), not of American-English origin as stated by the Oxford English Dictionary

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origin and appearance of ‘ailurophile’ (cat lover)

USA, 1914—‘ailurophile’: a cat lover—‘ailurophobe’: opposite sense—based on ancient Greek ‘aílouros’, ‘cat’, perhaps from ‘aiόlos’, ‘swift’, and ‘ourá’, ‘tail’, the cat being perhaps so called on account of the swift movement to and fro of its tail

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‘six of one and half a dozen of the other’

denotes a situation in which the alternatives are considered equivalent—first recorded, as ‘six of the one and half a dozen of the other’, on 24th April 1790 in the journal of Ralph Clark, a British naval officer—synonym: ‘(as) broad as long’

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the curious history of ‘Quorn’ (meat substitute)

The name ‘Quorn’ was first registered as a trademark—for certain edible products other than meat substitutes—by the Quorn Specialities Company of Leicester, England, in 1914. The meat substitute was subsequently developed by the successors of this company.

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How sports gave ‘rocket science’ its figurative meaning.

The literal meaning of ‘rocket science’ (USA, 1930) is the science of rockets and rocket propulsion—in the 1980s, in connexion with sports, it came to be used ironically as a generic term for anything requiring a high level of intelligence or expertise.

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‘Atlantic’ originally referred to Mount Atlas in North Africa.

‘Atlantic’ originally referred to Mount Atlas in North Africa, on which the heavens were fabled to rest; it was hence applied to the sea near the western shore of Africa, and afterwards extended to the whole ocean lying between Europe and Africa on the east and America on the west.

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from the trenches of WWI: ‘cootie’ (‘body louse’)

from army use on the Western Front during World War One: ‘cootie’, ‘body louse’, ‘cooty’, ‘infested with lice’, ‘coot’, ‘louse’, probably ultimately refer to the aquatic bird called ‘coot’, reputed to be lice-infested

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