27th Mar 2021. Reading time 6 minutes.
USA—‘Mr Nice Guy’ (1952, first used of Perry Como): a pleasant, selfless, thoughtful person—‘no more Mr Nice Guy’ (1960): used to express that one has decided to stop being considerate of others and instead act exclusively in one’s own self-interest
23rd Jun 2020. Reading time 8 minutes.
USA—originally used during the 1960 presidential election campaign by the Democratic Party to denigrate Richard Nixon, the Republican Party’s nominee
18th Mar 2020. Reading time 7 minutes.
USA—from two-line poem ‘News Item’ (1926), by Dorothy Parker—has given rise to jocular variants, especially playing on ‘glasses’ (eyewear/drinking containers)
11th Jan 2020. Reading time 19 minutes.
USA, early 20th century—used as an invitation to sexual dalliance—in 1937, William Hays’s censorship office apparently banned it in cinema films
26th Jul 2019. Reading time 6 minutes.
1950, Broadway slang, pejorative—a wealthy man who, in return for their company, lavished money on showbusiness people and those mixing with them
22nd Jun 2019. Reading time 23 minutes.
USA 1931—a highly enjoyable situation or experience—from ‘life is just a bowl of cherries’ 1928—popularised by song ‘Life Is Just a Bowl of Cherries’ 1931
11th Apr 2019. Reading time 13 minutes.
USA—‘man Friday’ 1802: alludes to the name of Robinson Crusoe’s servant in Daniel Defoe’s novel—‘girl Friday’ 1929: coined on the pattern of ‘man Friday’
21st Mar 2019. Reading time 9 minutes.
USA, 1908—to relish – or ironically deplore – the fact that one is making money, especially undeservedly or at the expense of others
22nd Jun 2018. Reading time 6 minutes.
Unnamed cocktails consisting of vodka and tomato juice became fashionable in the 1930s before the name ‘Bloody Mary’ was coined in November 1939.
9th May 2018. Reading time 4 minutes.
USA, 1850—indicates that precedence should be given, or deference shown, to an older person—in extended use: an invitation to somebody (not necessarily older) to go first when passing through a door, etc.—pays a compliment to the person giving precedence