Colloquialisms / Background


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Word/Phrase Meaning as far as possible or background Information
Absolute alcohol This is ethanol also commonly called ethyl alcohol containing less than one percent of water by weight. We used for our work Ethanol of 96-98%.
Another kettle of fish a different thing altogether
Cockney A native of East London, traditionally one born within hearing of Bow Bells.
Cologne's Cathedral Construction of Cologne's Cathedral commenced in 1248 and was halted in 1473, restarted in the 19th century and was completed, to the original plan, in 1880. It is 144.5 metres (474 ft) long, 86.5 m (284 ft) wide and its towers are approximately 157 m (515 ft) tall. It is the largest Gothic church in Northern Europe and has the second-tallest spires after the Minster in Ulm. Its two huge spires give it the largest façade of any church in the world. The choir has the largest height to width ratio, 3.6:1, of any medieval church.
Commercial Road Commercial Road is part of the A13, 2 miles (3.2 km) in length, running through the London Borough of Tower Hamlets in the East End of London.
CT Computed tomography (CT) is an imaging procedure that uses special x-ray equipment to create detailed pictures, or scans, of areas inside the body. It is also called computerized tomography and computerized axial tomography (CAT).
Deco Hindi "dekho," meaning a look or a peep. Deckna - to look.  From Hindustani देखना / دیکھنا (dekhnā), to see, to look.
Denier (den) Denier is a unit of measure for the linear mass density of fibers, is defined as the mass in grams per 9000 meters. The denier is based on a natural reference: a single strand of silk is approximately one denier; a 9000-meter strand of silk weighs about one gram. The term microdenier is used to describe filaments that weigh less than one gram per 9000 meters.
Dixon of Dock Green This was a BBC television series about daily life at a London police station, with the emphasis on petty crime, successfully controlled through common sense and human understanding. The central character was a mature and sympathetic police constable, George Dixon, played by Jack Warner in all of the 432 episodes, from 1955 to 1976.
Dutch courage Dutch courage refers to courage gained from intoxication with alcohol. The popular story dates the etymology of the term to English soldiers fighting in the Thirty Years' War.
Fairy chess Fairy chess comprises of chess problems that differ from classical chess problems in that they are not direct mates. Although the term "fairy chess" is sometimes used for games, it is more usually applied to problems where the board, pieces, or rules are changed to express an idea or theme impossible in classical chess.
Gerard Hoffnung Was an artist and musician, best known for his humorous works and his London "Hoffnung Festivals", at which classical music was spoofed for comic effect, with contributions from many eminent musicians. My quote was from the Bricklayer's Lament from his appearance at the Oxford Union. [Ed: a must!]
Glühwein Glühwein (roughly, "glow-wine," from the hot irons once used for mulling) is a traditional beverage that is offered during the Christmas holidays. Glühwein is usually prepared from red wine, heated and spiced with cinnamon sticks, cloves, star aniseed, citrus, sugar and at times vanilla pods. It is sometimes drunk mit Schuss (with a shot), which means that rum or some other liquor has been added. Fruit wines, such as blueberry wine and cherry wine, are occasionally used instead of grape wine in some parts of Germany.
Guy Fawkes Guy Fawkes became synonymous with the Gunpowder Plot (an attempt to blow up the House of Lords and the King), the failure of which has been commemorated in Britain since 5 November 1605. His effigy is traditionally burned on a bonfire, commonly accompanied by a firework display.
Histology A compound of the Greek words: histos "tissue" and logia "science". This is the study of the microscopic anatomy of cells and tissues of plants and animals.
Kray Brothers Twin brothers Ronald "Ronnie" Kray and Reginald "Reggie" Kray were English gangsters who were the foremost perpetrators of organised crime in the East End of London during the 1950s and 1960s.
Land of Nod My use here of the "Land of Nod" refers to the mythical land of sleep, a pun on Land of Nod (Gen. 4:16). To “go off to the land of Nod” plays with the phrase to “nod off”, meaning to go to sleep.
Listen with Mother Listen with Mother was a BBC radio programme for children which ran between 1950 and 1982. Almost every story opened with the phrase "Are you sitting comfortably? Then I'll begin." The question, became so well known that it appears in The Oxford Dictionary of Quotations.
Magrathea Is a planet resembles a company. It was created in the 1960s and has a population of around two billion mice. [Ed: see THGTTG]
Master Sun's Rules of Warfare The Art of War (孫子兵法; literally: "Master Sun's Rules of Warfare") is an ancient Chinese military treatise dating from the 5th century BC. Attributed to the ancient Chinese military strategist Sun Tzu (孫子), the text is composed of 13 chapters, each of which is devoted to one aspect of warfare. It is commonly thought of as a definitive work on military strategy and tactics.
Mind/body age discrepancy shock I think everybody has it up a certain age. You “know” what age you feel and see yourself in your head, it just doesn’t always match what the mirror tells you.
Pooh sticking Poohsticks is a sport first mentioned in The House at Pooh Corner, a Winnie-the-Pooh book by A. A. Milne. It is a simple sport which may be played on any bridge over running water; each player drops a stick on the upstream side of a bridge and the one whose stick first appears on the downstream side is the winner.
RFID RFID (radio frequency identification) is a technology that incorporates the use of electromagnetic or electrostatic coupling in the radio frequency (RF) portion of the electromagnetic spectrum to uniquely identify an object, animal, person [Ed: or heels].
Rupert Bear Rupert Bear is a children's comic strip character created by the English artist Mary Tourtel and first appearing in the Daily Express newspaper on 8th. November 1920.
Sheldon Leonard and Sheldon are going on a trip. Sheldon is tagging his clothes and cataloguing them as he packs. See the clip here https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m5pTKqKaElA
Tod This comes from the name of the American jockey James “Tod” Sloan, giving Tod Sloan = Alone.
Twilight Zone A part from being an American television anthology series and defined as a situation or conceptual area that is characterized by being undefined, intermediate, or mysterious, here it is posts dealing with girl related ‘stuff’ without Abi running around in the open but just in the background enjoying as much as possible the view.