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phrases that use names

Posted by David Lamb on July 20, 2006

In Reply to: Phrases that use names posted by Christopher on July 19, 2006

: I'm looking for phrases that use names. For instance, "You don't know Jack" "Johnny One Better" etc. Favorites?

I don't know about favourites, but here are some in use here in the UK:

"For Pete's sake" (perhaps with "Pete" as a euphemism for "Christ").

"Davy Jones' Locker", meaning "the bottom of the sea" ("Davy Jones" is the name of the supposed "evil spirit of the sea")

"Hobson's Choice", meaning "no choice at all". Apparently Tobias Hobson was an 17th century man who hired out horses in Cambridge, England. Hed made it a rule that each customer should take the horse nearest the stable door, to avoid favouritism.

"Jimmy Riddle", Cockney rhyming slang for piddle (urinate).

"Sweet Fanny Adams", meaning "nothing whatsoever". From Fanny Adams, murdered and dismembered in 1867. Sailors then used her name to refer to u food which tasted unpleasant, and later it assumed its current meaning.

I'm sure others will think of plenty more.


David Lamb (UK)

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