‘like a million dollars’ vs. ‘like thirty cents’

USA—‘to look, or to feel, (like) a million dollars’, or ‘(like) a million bucks’: to look, or to feel, extremely good, or extremely attractive (early 20th century)—sometimes used in contrast to ‘like thirty, or 30, cents’: cheap, worthless (late 19th century)

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How poverty and war produced ‘latchkey child’.

originally: a child wearing the house key tied around their neck and staying in the streets while their mother is at work—USA, 1935: a poor Afro-American woman’s child—USA & UK, WWII: a child whose mother was engaged in war industry

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meanings and origin of ‘dead-cat bounce’

from the notion that even a dead cat will bounce if dropped from a sufficient height—UK, 1981: a rapid fall in the stock market with hardly any reaction—USA, 1985: a rapid but short-lived recovery in the stock market after a sharp fall—hence, 1992: any spurious success

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‘gung ho’ and American admiration for communist China

from Chinese ‘gōnghé’, short for ‘Zhōngguó Gōngyè Hézuò Shè’ (Chinese Industrial Cooperative Society)—interpreted as a slogan meaning ‘work together’ (USA, 1941)—adopted by Evans F. Carlson, commander of the 2nd Marine Raider Battalion (1942)

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‘funny-ha-ha’ and ‘funny-peculiar’ used in collocation

USA, 1916—used in collocation to seek or provide clarification between the two main meanings of ‘funny’: ‘funny-ha-ha’ means ‘funny’ in the sense ‘amusing’ or ‘comical’ – ‘funny-peculiar’ means ‘funny’ in the sense ‘strange’ or ‘peculiar’.

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