origin of ‘the world is my oyster’

refers to the possibility of finding a pearl in an oyster—coined by Shakespeare in The Merry Wives of Windsor, perhaps in allusion to a proverb

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fifth column

    The term fifth column, which translates Spanish quinta columna, denotes the enemy’s supporters in one’s own country, or a body of one’s supporters in an attacked or occupied foreign country, hence, more generally, any group of hostile or subversive infiltrators, any enemy in one’s midst. The Spanish Civil War (1936-39) was the conflict […]

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