‘Job’s comforter’: meaning and origin
Word Histories
by Pascal Tréguer
17h ago
1673—a person who aggravates distress under the guise of administering comfort—alludes to Job’s reply to his friends in the Book of Job, 16:2 ..read more
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‘(as) poor as Job’s cat’: meaning and origin
Word Histories
by Pascal Tréguer
2d ago
‘extremely poor’—USA, 1810—humorous variant of ‘(as) poor as Job’, from the name of the eponymous protagonist of a book of the Old Testament, taken as the type of extreme poverty ..read more
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‘(as) poor as Job’s turkey’: meaning and origin
Word Histories
by Pascal Tréguer
3d ago
‘extremely poor’—USA, 1817—humorous variant of ‘(as) poor as Job’, from the name of the eponymous protagonist of a book of the Old Testament, taken as the type of extreme poverty ..read more
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‘old boy network’: meaning and origin
Word Histories
by Pascal Tréguer
6d ago
UK, 1950, as ‘old boy net’—a system of favouritism and preferment operating among people of a similar social, usually privileged, background, especially among former pupils of public schools ..read more
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‘nepotism baby’ and ‘nepo baby’: meaning and origin
Word Histories
by Pascal Tréguer
1w ago
a person whose career is believed to have been advanced by having a famous or successful relative—‘nepotism baby’ (USA, 1915)—‘nepo baby’ (USA, 2022 ..read more
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‘jean-age’, ‘jean-ager’ and jean-aged’: meaning and origin
Word Histories
by Pascal Tréguer
1w ago
refer to the teenage years regarded as an age at which jeans are often worn—USA, from 1946 onwards—punningly after, respectively, ‘teenage’, ‘teenager’ and ‘teenaged ..read more
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‘corridor care’ and ‘corridor nursing’: meaning and origin
Word Histories
by Pascal Tréguer
1w ago
Ireland, 1989—treatment given to hospital patients in overcrowded and inappropriate spaces such as corridors and waiting rooms—had been used earlier (UK, 1980) of treatment given to schoolchildren ..read more
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‘fish and chips’: meaning and origin
Word Histories
by Pascal Tréguer
1w ago
a dish consisting of deep-fried battered fish fillets served with potato chips—Lancashire, England, 1886 (1879, as ‘fried fish and chipped potatoes ..read more
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Notes on ‘Kleenex’ in similes
Word Histories
by Pascal Tréguer
1w ago
USA, 1945—‘Kleenex’ (a proprietary name for a soft, disposable paper tissue) is used in similes expressing, in particular, disposability, ephemerality, fragility, weakness ..read more
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‘Kleenex music’: meanings and origin
Word Histories
by Pascal Tréguer
1w ago
1962: a type of popular music that is rapidly discarded—also, 1967: Benjamin Britten’s War Requiem, regarded as a lachrymose piece of music by Igor Stravinsky—‘Kleenex’: a proprietary name for a soft, disposable paper tissue ..read more
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