‘the only game in town’: meaning and origin

the only option worth considering—USA, 1904—from the story (1894) of a man who is so addicted to faro that he takes part in a game despite knowing it to be rigged, because it is the only game available in town

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‘to come a cropper’: meanings and origin

(literally): to fall heavily; (figuratively): to fail completely—UK, 1847—‘cropper’ may be derived from ‘crop’ in the phrase ‘neck and crop’ (1791), which originally referred to a heavy fall

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‘pizza face’: meaning and origin

a person with facial acne—Californian high-school slang, 1963—in this expression, the pimples caused by facial acne are likened to slices of pepperoni on a pizza

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‘to go for the jugular’: meaning and origin

to criticise or attack somebody aggressively or decisively; to target an adversary’s weakest or most vulnerable point—USA, 1879—the image is of attacking a person fatally in the throat or neck, where the jugular vein runs

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‘early doors’ (near the beginning)

UK, 1976—the colloquial phrase ‘early doors’ means ‘early on’, ‘at an early stage’—frequently occurs in the context of football—of unknown origin

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