‘Tom Pepper’: meaning and early occurrences

USA, 1812—UK, 1818—the name of a character proverbially said to have been so great a liar that he was expelled from Hell—hence, frequently in ‘a bigger liar than Tom Pepper’, and variants: an outrageous liar

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‘savoury duck’: meaning and origin

Lancashire, England, 1833—a faggot, a meatball, “a compound of onions, flour, and small pieces of pork” (The Liverpool Echo, 20 August 1880)—probably one of the common dishes humorously named after daintier items of food

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‘blind scouse’: meaning and origin

Liverpool, England, 1939—scouse without meat—“from the general early sense of ‘blind’ meaning ‘deficient’” (Liverpool English Dictionary)—‘scouse’, shortened form of ‘lobscouse’: “a dish of hashed meat stewed with potatoes and onions; an Irish stew” (English Dialect Dictionary)

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‘glad and sorry’ (i.e., hire purchase)

UK, 1929—‘glad and sorry’ denotes hire purchase, i.e., a system by which one pays for a thing in regular instalments while having the use of it—the image is that the hire-purchaser is at the same time glad to have the use of the merchandise and sorry to still have to pay for it

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‘Kathleen Mavourneen’: meaning and origin

used attributively of something that may not have an end for years, if ever—especially used of a loan that the borrower refuses to pay back, and of hire purchase—refers to the line “It may be for years, and it may be for ever” in the song ‘Kathleen Mavourneen’ (1835)

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‘half seas over’: meanings and origin

literal meaning (1551): halfway across the sea—figurative meanings (1692): halfway towards a goal or destination, half through with a matter, halfway between one state and another—also (1699): half drunk

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‘jam butty’ (police patrol car)

UK, 1971—‘jam butty’ (also ‘jam sandwich’): a colloquial appellation for a police patrol car having a red stripe painted on a white background

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