‘Hands down’ originated in horse racing.

19th century—The adverb ‘hands down’ originated in horse racing: a jockey who is winning comfortably is able to lower his hands and relax his hold on the reins.

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the theatrical origin of ‘claptrap’

first half of the 18th century—‘clap trap’: a use of language designed to capture (i.e. trap) a theatrical audience’s applause (i.e. clapping)

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‘Miss’-‘Ms’: origin

‘miss’: unmarried woman or girl; 17th cent., short for ‘mistress’—‘Ms’: title free of reference to marital status; 20th cent., blend of ‘Mrs’ and ‘Miss’

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meaning and origin of ‘Mrs Grundy’

from Speed the Plough (1798), by Thomas Morton; Dame Ashfield is constantly fearing to give occasion for the sneers of Mrs Grundy, her unseen neighbour

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