‘Jimmy Woodser’: meaning and origin

Australia, 1876—a person drinking alone at a bar; a drink taken alone—origin unknown—perhaps related to ‘Johnny Warder’, denoting “an idle drunkard who hangs about pub corners looking for a drink”

Read More

‘tickety-boo’: meaning, early occurrences and origin

UK, 1938—old-fashioned informal British-English adjective meaning ‘in good order’, ‘fine’—origin obscure: perhaps from Hindi ‘ṭhīk hai’ (‘all right’) or from ‘the ticket’ (‘the correct thing’); or it may simply be a purely fanciful formation

Read More

‘aerial ping-pong’: meaning and origin

derisive appellation given to Australian Rules (football), because the ball is often kicked high into the air, requiring players to leap and catch it—Australia, 1945—slang of the Australian armed forces during World War II

Read More

‘where the rubber meets the road’: meanings and origin

USA, 1956—where the important facts or realities lie; where theory is put into practice—originated in the jargon of the advertising business, in which ‘let’s get down (to) where the rubber meets the road’ meant ‘how much is it going to cost?’

Read More