Tag Archives: drinks

one’s best bib and tucker

    MEANING   one’s smartest clothes     ORIGIN   This phrase was originally used only of women’s clothes. A bib was a piece of cloth, usually the upper part of an apron, worn between throat and waist. A tucker was a piece of lace or linen worn in or around the top of […]

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maudlin

maudlin

   Mary Magdalene kneeling within a Stabat Mater scene Kreuzigung (Crucifixion – 1868), by Gabriel Wüger (1829-92)       MEANING   foolishly tearful or sentimental     ORIGIN   In the Christian Church, the Magdalene designates Mary Magdalene, a follower of Jesus, who cured her of evil spirits. She witnessed the Crucifixion and Jesus […]

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one over the eight

    I suppose it wasn’t often that the boys of Market Snodsbury Grammar School came across a man public-spirited enough to call their head master a silly ass, and they showed their appreciation in no uncertain manner. Gussie may have been one over the eight, but as far as the majority of those present […]

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to take the mickey

    MEANING   British (informal): to take the mickey (also micky, mick, mike) out of someone: to tease or ridicule someone     PROBABLE ORIGIN   Rhyming slang is a type of slang that replaces words with rhyming words or phrases, typically with the rhyming element omitted. For example apples, short for apples and pears, […]

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cock-a-hoop

cock-a-hoop

  cock-throwing in The Four Stages of Cruelty: First Stage of Cruelty (1751) by William Hogarth (1697-1764) - image: Tate Galleries       MEANING   extremely and obviously pleased, especially about an achievement     ORIGIN: UNKNOWN   This adjective is from the 16th-century phrase to set cock a hoop, to set (the) cock on (the) hoop, […]

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blotto

blotto

  image: Tonton Vélo       MEANING   drunk     ORIGIN   The word originated in World War One British military slang. It was first recorded by Ward Muir in Observations of an Orderly: Some Glimpses of Life and Work in an English War Hospital, published in July 1917: The words for drunkenness are […]

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Bloody Mary

Bloody Mary

  Advertisement in the magazine Life – 17th March 1961 The Bloody María (anything vodka can do, Ronrico Rum can do better) The difference between a Bloody Mary and a Bloody María is the difference between Mary and María. María is Mary set to music. A Bloody María is easy to make. Simply use Ronrico […]

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Scotch mist

Scotch mist

  Scotch mist over the path in Bealach Dubh beneath Sgòr Iutharn photograph: John Lucas – geograph       Scotch mist is a thick drizzly mist of a kind common in the Scottish Highlands. The term also has the general meaning of a steady drizzle. It was defined as “a sober, soaking Rain” in […]

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muggins

muggins

  a Toby jug by Ralph Wood the Younger (1748-95) photograph: Victoria and Albert Museum     MEANING   A muggins is a foolish and gullible person. The word is often used humorously to refer to oneself.     ORIGIN   In colloquial usage since the mid-19th century, this word is perhaps a use of […]

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‘rum’

‘rum’

  Captain Roberts’ Crew carousing at Old Calabar River from The Pirates Own Book (1837) by Charles Ellms       The noun rum, denoting an alcoholic spirit distilled from molasses and other sugar-cane products, is first attested in 1654 in Public Records of the Colony of Connecticut: Berbados Liquors, commonly called Rum, Kill Deuill […]

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