‘Energizer bunny’: meaning and origin

USA, 1990—a persistent or indefatigable person or phenomenon—refers to ‘Energizer Bunny’, the name of a battery-operated toy rabbit represented as never running out of energy, featured from 1988 in a television advertising campaign for batteries

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‘pester power’: meaning and origin

USA, 1979—the children’s ability to pressurise their parents into buying something, or doing something for them, by continuing to ask for it until their parents agree to do it—originally referred to television advertising targeting children

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meaning and origin of the verb ‘MacGyver’

USA, 1992—to make or repair (something) in an improvised or inventive way, making use of whatever items are at hand—also used figuratively—refers to Angus MacGyver, the lead character in the U.S. television series MacGyver (1985-92)

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‘singing milkshake’: meaning and origin

1979—nickname given, in particular, to singer Olivia Newton-John—alludes to the type of popular music that (like a milkshake) is discarded as soon as it has been consumed

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‘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?’

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British and Irish uses of ‘more front than’

denotes effrontery—‘front’ denotes self-assurance, but the word that follows ‘than’ puns on ‘front’ in the sense of the façade of a building, a long seafront, etc.—also denotes a well-endowed woman, with reference to ‘front’ in the sense of a woman’s bust

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