‘Black Hole of Calcutta’: meaning and origin

an oppressive, very confined or crowded space—UK, 1764—refers to the punishment cell at Fort William, Calcutta, in which, in 1756, the Nawab of Bengal reputedly confined British and Anglo-Indian prisoners

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‘bonkbuster’: meaning and origin

a type of popular novel characterised by frequent explicit descriptions of sexual encounters between the characters—from ‘bonk’, referring to sexual intercourse, and ‘blockbuster’—UK, 1988—perhaps coined by Sue Limb

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‘sex and shopping’: meaning and origin

a genre of popular fiction featuring wealthy and glamorous characters who typically engage in frequent sexual encounters and extravagant spending—USA, 1985 & 1986, in reference to British novelist Jackie Collins and U.S. novelist Judith Krantz

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‘Brylcreem Boy’: meanings and origin

UK, 1941—a fighter pilot in the Royal Air Force; also used by the military land forces of any member of the R.A.F.—originally referred to WWII advertisements for Brylcreem hair cream, featuring a fighter pilot

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‘to go home in an ambulance’: meaning and origin

to get a severe beating—popularised in UK & Ireland in the 2nd half of the 20th century through its use in chants by supporters at Association-Football matches, chiefly to threaten opposing away supporters

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‘blood wagon’: meaning and origin

UK—an ambulance (i.e., a vehicle designed to carry sick or injured people)—originally (Royal Air Force slang, 1921): a specially equipped airplane for carrying sick or injured people

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