For this week’s expression I’m working backwards – on words.
We know the origin of these terms – the works of Charles Dickens.
“It’s a sign of an author’s genius when his characters step out of the stories and become words in the language. Dozens of Dickens’s characters are now part of the English language.” wordsmith.org
Wellerism: Dickens’s novel Pickwick Papers. Earliest documented use: 1839. A familiar phrase followed by a humorous invention. “Prevention is better than cure,” said the pig when it ran away from the butcher.
Fagin: From Dickens’s novel Oliver Twist. Earliest documented use: 1847. One who trains others, especially children, in crime. A fagin crook led a gang of young thieves.
Gamp: From Dickens’s novel Martin Chuzzlewit. Earliest documented use: 1864. A large umbrella. “By the time we fumble with our gamps, the air is dry once again.”
Scrooge: This is the only one I’ve ever used, and it took a while to enter the language. From Dickens’s novel A Christmas Carol. Earliest documented use: 1940. A miser. “He was not entirely a Scrooge. There were times when he secretly helped poor people.”
Thanks to wordsmith.org