April 28, 2009


Donnybrook - an uproar, brawl

Donnybrook is a district of Dublin, Ireland. It used to be the site of Donnybrook Fair. It began in 1204 when King John bestowed the eight-day event on the citizens to thank them for fortifying the city of Dublin. The fair became notorious for drunkenness and rowdiness giving rise to the word donnybrook. The fair was eventually banned in 1855, but the word stuck.

Usage example: .....the donnybrook on Capitol Hill over immigration.....

Sources: answers.com, http://www.donnybrooktennisclub.ie/content/info/history.jsp

April 01, 2009

Dutch Courage

Meaning – bravery boosted by alcohol

During 17th century, the enmity between England and Holland increased because of control over sea and new world searched. So during one such a war sailors aboard the Hollander British warship were given brandy before beginning of the war. Due to this enmity, wherever Britishers settled, they started their anti-Dutch tradition.

Source: http://www.phrases.org.uk
Image Source: wikipedia.org

P.S. :- Intention of second post was just to make sure 100th post is on my name. :D :D

Break a leg

Meaning - Wish good luck (especially) to actors before they go on to stage

There are different stories behind this phrase. But one interesting story goes with John Wilkes Booth who assassinated Abraham Lincoln on 14th April, 1865. After assassination, Booth tried to escape and broke his leg, but it was his luck that he escaped because of his broken leg. Still his luck ran out and got killed twelve days after the incident. Basically the assassination incident happened in a theatre and when Booth assassinated Lincoln, he tried to jump on stage and that’s how he broke his leg. So now the phrase is used to wish actors good luck even though it’s literal meaning sounds bad omen.

Source: http://www.pharses.org.uk
Image Source: Wikipedia.org