By Eric Partridge
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Additional resources for A Dictionary of Cliches
18–20. From ‘Keep me as the apple of the eye’, Psalms, xvii. 8. approximately correct . Sufficiently correct for practical purposes; correct in essentials: C. 20. après moi le deluge; après nous… Literally ‘after me (or, us) the deluge’, it means ‘I (or we) don’t care: the trouble will come after we die’: C. 19–20. The former is a proverbial form, recorded in a French dictionary of proverbs in 1758, one year after Madame de Pompadour uttered the latter to Louis XV. —Cf. ‘a sailor’s farewell’. apron-strings, as in tied to someone’s… , wholly under a person’s influence: mid C.
22): a comfort, a soothing agency: C. 18–20. balmy breezes; balmy weather . Very mild, pleasant breezes or weather: late C. 19–20; the latter is only a borderline case. baptism of fire ; esp. to receive one’s baptism of fire, to be exposed, for the first time, to rifle and/or gun fire: late C. 19–20. Perhaps originally with allusion to the baptism of blood (violent death) of unbaptized martyrs. ’ A phrase that indicates one’s willingness and readiness: mid C. 19–20. Dickens, David Copperfield, ch.
16. Apperson compares a passage in Plautus. See also soon hot, soon cold, in Benham (1936 edition, p. 884a). A dictionary of Clichés 44 blow off steam, to To rid oneself of one’s indignation or superfluous energy: colloquial: from ca. 1860. From an engine’s blowing off excess steam. blow one’s own trumpet, to . To brag; to advertise oneself: mid C. 19–20. blown to smithereens (colloquial) . Blown to pieces: utterly shattered and destroyed by an explosion: late C. 19–20. *blue blood . Aristocratic blood; hence, aristocratic rank or condition: from ca.
A Dictionary of Cliches by Eric Partridge