.Quod erat demonstrandum, which was, or had, to be shown or proved, and now has been: educational world: C19-20, although not much used since c. 1960. A tag of Euclidean geometry; a tag used humorously, often with a mock-pompous intonation. Also, naturally, quod erat demonstrandum itself.
. See: you can't q.
. See: seaman.
. See: never mind the q.
. See: influence.
smattering of worldly knowledge: raffish, mostly London: c. 1810-50. (Pierce Egan, London, 1821.) Cf the † slang fly flat, a would-be expert.
. See: 'balls!'; eh! to me; I wouldn't call; keep up; one hand; true, O King.
. See: have a gorilla; hey, Johnny; sorry, no.
was a c.p. of 1929-30 and prob. for a few years earlier and later. Harold Brighouse, Safe amongst the Pigs, performed 1929 and pub'd 1930, has the following in Act II: ROBERT:…You may have uses for more money than you've got. CELIA: Queen, you've spoke a mouthful. ROBERT: This is serious, Celia. The above is valid for the UK, but the c.p. represents a slight adaptation of the slightly earlier US Queen, you spoke a mouthful. 'As soon as was practical after the Armistice [11 Nov. 1918: WW1], the King and Queen of the Belgians visited this country. They were taken on a tour by the mayor of New York…. The great sight, of course, was the look down the island to the sky-scrapers…. The Queen remarked on the impressiveness of the scene, and the mayor answered her in those immortal words. That must have been about 1921-22. The story went all round the country and the phrase became famous' (Prof. Emeritus S.H. Monk, 1977).
. See: there's nowt.
…(-as). There are a number of phrases, similes, beginning thus and applied to homosexuals; perhaps the best known in later C20, current since c. 1955, is (as) queer as a clockwork orange, which seems to have orig. either in the East End of London or the Lowerdeck of the RN. It was given a gen. widening of popularity by Anthony Burgess's strange and moving novel, A Clockwork Orange, 1962, later filmed. Derivatives from it are…as a four-speed walkingstick, used, and perhaps invented by, the well-known raconteur and bawdy anecdotist 'Blaster' Bates, 1970s, and …as a left-handed corkscrew, also early 1970s.
Applicable to things odd and strange (and also, occ., to homosexuals) are queer as a nine-bob note or a three-pound note, or a two (or nine) bob watch: mid C20; they became ob. with the decimalization of currency in Feb. 1971. There was no such note as a nine shilling or a three pound one, and a watch so cheap would be suspect, or phoney, indeed. These perhaps stem from the N. American queer as a three-dollar bill, current in Can. since late C19; in US, also phoney as…, and R.C. remarks, 'Often in the sexual sense, In phoney as…, the bill is often a nine-dollar denomination-equally fictitious, of course'. Cf:
(-as). Very odd indeed: mid C18-mid 19, and still 'alive and well' in the dialects of the Northern half of England. Grose, The Vulgar Tongue, 2nd ed., 1788, has it; so has Southey; so too G.L. Apperson's English Proverbs and Proverbial Phrases, 1929, a book that has never received its dues.
In C19, sometimes (as) queer as Dick's hatband that went round nine times and wouldn't meet; slightly less extravagant is B.G.T.'s version from Northamptonshire, 1978, it's like Dick dark's hatband, went round twice and wouldn't tie, with the connotation 'however hard she tried, she couldn't get her job done. She said, “It's like…”'. Wedgewood, too, from Yorkshire, remembers from his youth, early 1930s, 'something about “going twice round like Dick's hatband”'. P.B.: I have heard the suggestion, unsupported by anything firmer than tradition, that Dick is Oliver Cromwell's son Richard.
. See: ask a silly; good question; I forgot; I must have noticed; that's a good; that's the sixty-four.
. See: join the back.
. See: sharp's; you couldn't be served.
. P.B., 1975, writes:
I heard it in 1973 from a retired colonel, talking about intelligence reports which were produced fast and without scrupulous accuracy. I heard it again recently, used by a computer expert to describe 'initial print-outs', before 'the program has been de-bugged'. One might use it as well to describe a first edition on which proof-reading has been skimped to meet a publishing deadline.
P.B., 1983: I suspected at the time that this might be of US orig., the Colonel having served in Washington, and R.C., 1978, confirms that belief: 'Current in US magazine and magazine-publishing from before 1960, when I first heard it'.
was, C18-mid C19, addressed to, or directed at, someone moving slowly when speed was required. Fuller; Grose. 1788.
(or smart) as a rabbit (-as). 'He's on the ball! Fast thinker!: US: late C19-mid 20' (A.B., 1978). P.B.:? Brer Rabbit or Bugs Bunny.
. See: it's not much.
. See: now you see.
! A punning c.p. of mid C18-late C19. (Grose, 1796.) As Hotten explained, the question quid est hoc?-What's this?-is asked by one man tapping the bulging cheek of another, who, exhibiting a 'chaw' of
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Publication information: Book title: A Dictionary of Catch Phrases: British and American, from the Sixteenth Century to the Present Day. Contributors: Paul Beale - Editor, Eric Partridge - Author. Publisher: Routledge. Place of publication: London. Publication year: 1993. Page number: 251.
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