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Toodle-oo, Deadbeat, Trench coat, Whiskey

Created date

February 21st, 2017

Toodle-oo (toodaloo)

The British and the French haven’t always had the best relationship. In fact, they’ve long shared a disdain for one another, which is probably why we have the phrase “toodle-oo.”

Indeed, the British are notorious for their careless pronunciation of French—perhaps they deem the language unworthy of effort. Whatever the reason may be, “toodle-oo,” which means “until later,” is a corruption of the French phrase a tout a l’heure, or “see you later.”

“Well, I must be going. Toodle-oo!”

Deadbeat

This one is surprisingly old. A “deadbeat” is a good-for-nothing loser. 

The term is so commonly used that it has actually become part of official legislative parlance in laws passed to combat “deadbeat dads,” or fathers who fail to financially support their children.

The word actually dates back to at least the early 1860s, when “deadbeat” emerged as a popular American slang reference for lazy, worthless individuals. To be sure, rarely was there ever a more effective pairing of words, “dead” being self-explanatory, and “beat,” meaning worn out and useless.

“A parent who doesn’t support his or her child is a real deadbeat.”

Trench coat

Once again, our vocabulary leads us to the fields of war. Today, a trench coat calls to mind any number of images: an average Joe standing in the rain, a gangster, a spy, a high-powered executive.

But the trench coat, in its original visage, was designed for soldiers.

In 1879, renowned clothing designer Thomas Burberry created a tightly woven fabric known as gabardine, which proved quite useful at keeping a person dry in wet weather. In 1901, he submitted his design to England’s War Office for a body-length coat that was just as dry but lighter than the greatcoats worn by British troops.

The coat first saw widespread usage during World War I, in which trench tactics were employed on both sides of the conflict. In time, the garb and the tactic merged into what we now call a “trench coat.”

“The classic image of a spy is a guy with his hat pulled over his brow and a gun and secret documents concealed within his trench coat.”

Whiskey

Our apologies in advance to all of the teetotalers out there, but some of us call it “the nectar of the gods.” For centuries, whiskey has changed lots of perspectives and livened up many a party. 

The word speaks for itself, for we know instantly what it refers to; yet, where does it come from?

We get this one from the Scottish Gaelic word “uisge” or the Irish Gaelic “uisce,” both of which translate to “water of life.”

Some time roughly in the late eighteenth century, the words became anglicized to “whiskey,” and it remains so today, most popularly in the United States and Ireland.

“‘I’ll take a whiskey—double!’ he ordered the bartender.”

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