‘rosinback’: meaning and origin

USA, 1896, circus slang—a horse used by a bareback rider or acrobat—rosin was rubbed on the horse’s back to prevent the rider or acrobat from slipping

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‘squillion’ | ‘squillionaire’

USA—‘squillion’ (1879): an extremely large but unspecified number, quantity or amount; arbitrary and humorous alteration of ‘million’, ‘billion’, etc.—‘squillionaire’ (1895): a person who has an extremely large but unspecified amount of money

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‘Johnny Foreigner’: meaning and origin

UK, 1899—derogatory—a foreigner; a personification of foreign people—‘Johnny’ is used with modifying word to designate a person of the type, group, profession, etc., specified

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‘spud-barber’: meaning and origin

jocular—denotes ‘one who peels potatoes’—also used as a verb meaning ‘to peel potatoes’—1915, USA—other early occurrences, Australia

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‘Spam medal’: meaning and origin

military slang, 1944—a medal awarded to all members of a force—especially the 1939-1945 Star, awarded to British service personnel who took part in WWII—refers to the ubiquitousness of Spam as a foodstuff

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‘Red Sea pedestrian’: meaning and origin

UK, 1912—humorous: a Jewish person—refers to the Crossing of the Red Sea, as recounted in the Book of Exodus—coined on various occasions by different persons, independently from each other

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‘bimbette’: meaning and origin

USA, 1978—a young woman or teenage girl who is regarded as sexually attractive, but unintelligent or frivolous—from ‘bimbo’ and the suffix ‘-ette’

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‘Vatican roulette’: meaning and origin

USA, 1957—the rhythm method of birth control, as permitted by the Roman Catholic Church—with allusion to the unpredictable efficacy of this contraceptive method: from ‘Vatican’, denoting the authority of the Roman Catholic Church, and ‘Russian roulette’

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