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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‘things are crook in Tallarook’: meaning and origin

Australia, 1941—used of any adverse situation—based on the rhyme between ‘crook’ (meaning ‘bad’, ‘unpleasant’, ‘unsatisfactory’) and ‘Tallarook’, the name of a town in Victoria—sometimes followed by ‘there’s no work in Bourke’

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‘car-crash television’: meaning and origin

television programmes that are gratuitously shocking or sensational, or of poor quality—from their eliciting in the viewer a similar horrified fascination to that experienced by people watching scenes of cars crashing

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‘stick it up your jumper’: meaning and origin

UK, 1968—British and Australian: expresses indifference towards, or rejection of, a suggestion—from ‘Umpa, Umpa, Stick It Up Your Jumper’, a song recorded in 1935 by The Two Leslies (Leslie Sarony and Leslie Holmes)

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