origin of ‘skinflint’

attested 1699—from the hyperbolical phrase ‘to skin a flint’ (1656)—cf. ‘to skin a flea for its hide and tallow’ and French ‘tondre un œuf’ (‘to shave an egg’)

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the rough end of the pineapple

‘the rough end of the pineapple’: harsh or unfair treatment—said to be an Australian phrase, but may have originated in the USA in the mid-20th century

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everything but the kitchen sink

The phrase ‘everything but the kitchen sink’, or ‘the kitchen stove’, and variants mean ‘practically everything imaginable’—origin: USA, early 20th century

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the colonial origin of ‘kidnap’

original meaning of ‘kidnap’, late 17th century—to steal or carry off children or others in order to provide servants or labourers for the American plantations

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the story of the fedora

US, 1883—from the craze generated by ‘Fédora’, an 1882 drama by Victorien Sardou and the name of its heroine, played in early productions by Sarah Bernhardt

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