catch phrases

Here are six catch phrases collected by Eric Partridge in A Dictionary of Catch Phrases (1977) . A catch phrase is a word or expression that is used repeatedly or conveniently to characterize a person , group , idea , or point of view .clocks 099

one .   As the man said . it lends authority  — occasionally a humorous warning  — to what has been said .

two.   attaboy ! is apparently only a one-word c.p. ; it stands for ‘that’s the boy’ , an expression of warm approval .  atta boy  is how Edward Albee writes it in Who’s Afraid of Virginia Wolf ? (1962)

tree.   back to the salt mines   the origin my come from communist Russia when political prisoners were sentenced to do hard labor in salt mines .  An American expression , salt often omitted and well preceding . Two American variants are back to the jute mill (1975)  and back to the chain gang (1942) .chain gang

fore.   belly up ! belly up to the bar , boys ! Drinks on the house , boys ! Canadian C20. CF  the US underworld , mostly pickpockets, c.p. belly up ? Have a drink !–c. 1930-50. Prompted by the English -speaking world’s toast , bottoms up !

fife.   bring on the dancing girls !   Let’s watch — or do — something more entertaining or exciting , for this is a crashing bore : since c. 1930 . From the pleasant practice of Oriental potentates : when bored with their guests , they order the dancers to appear .

six.   get off my back ! and get off my neck ! The former means ‘Stop being a nuisance! Leave me alone !: the latter “Stop trying to bluff or fool me! ‘ ,The former , Australian , dates from c. 1940 ; the latter , mostly English military , dates from c. 1915 .clocks 058

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