Feature Word: Never-Never Land

Definition:

An imaginary place

Description:

The phrase ‘never-never land’ is linked to a creation of the Scottish playwright Sir James Barrie. In Barrie’s play Peter Pan, first produced in 1904, Peter befriends the real-world children of the Darling family and spirits them off for a visit to Never Land, where children can fly and never have to become adults. In his 1908 play When Wendy Grew Up, Barrie changed the name to Never Never Land, perhaps influenced by already existing ‘never-never’ terms, such as Australia’s ‘never-never country’ (for its sparsely populated desert interior). Even before that, however, people had already begun to refer to a place that was overly idealistic or romantic as a ‘never-never land.’

Source:

Merriam Webster Dictionary

Gussied Up

No Comments

Definition:

or ‘gussy up’: to dress up or get decked out in a showy or gimmicky manner; or, to get dressed in one’s best clothes

Description:

This term is of an obscure / unknown origin, but is usually considered an American expression. However, the first recorded use of the word ‘gussy‘ in the Oxford English Dictionary comes from a British source, Morris Marple’s Public School Slang of 1940.

At the end of the 19th Century, both in Australia and in America, the term was used to denote a weak or effeminate person.

Or, the term could be associated with American tennis player “Gorgeous Gussie” Moran who is best remembered for appearing at Wimbledon in 1949 wearing frilly panties — which caused considerable interest and controversy.

See Details

Wowser

No Comments

Definition:

a fanatically puritanical person

Description:

‘Wowser’ is a delightful word with an interesting background, though its ultimate origin is unknown.

The word first appeared in print in 1899, in the Australian journal Truth, and was instantly popular in Australia. It rapidly spread to New Zealand, where it remains in use, and then eventually arrived in England, possibly brought by the Australian troops who served there during World War I.

The American writer and editor H. L. Mencken liked “wowser” and attempted to introduce it to the United States. He used the word frequently in American Mercury, the literary magazine he edited.

Despite Mencken’s efforts, however, the term never became particularly popular in American English; it is used occasionally, but it never truly caught on.

See Details

Never-Never Land

No Comments

Definition:

An imaginary place

Description:

The phrase ‘never-never land’ is linked to a creation of the Scottish playwright Sir James Barrie. In Barrie’s play Peter Pan, first produced in 1904, Peter befriends the real-world children of the Darling family and spirits them off for a visit to Never Land, where children can fly and never have to become adults. In his 1908 play When Wendy Grew Up, Barrie changed the name to Never Never Land, perhaps influenced by already existing ‘never-never’ terms, such as Australia’s ‘never-never country’ (for its sparsely populated desert interior). Even before that, however, people had already begun to refer to a place that was overly idealistic or romantic as a ‘never-never land.’

See Details