Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Word of the Day

Okay, Idiom of the Day...

In Paradise For Two, Prudence declines to marry someone on the grounds that the gilt's worn off the gingerbread.

To take the gilt off the gingerbread. To destroy the illusion. The reference is to gingerbread watches, men, and other gilded toys, sold at fairs. These eatables were common even in the reign of Henry IV., but were then made of honey instead of treacle.
--E. Cobham Brewer 1810–1897. Dictionary of Phrase and Fable. 1898.

What a lovely way to describe what happens to a girl when a fella calls her 'old girl' and takes her to loathsome Chinese dinners. (Not that that last is a crack at Chinese food as I happen to love it...)


  1. I've always wondered what the "correct" phrase was even when I was living it!

  2. Hey, someone has a copy of Brewer! That is so cool -- it's a staple in both Brit Hubs' libraries. Very useful for doing those cryptic crosswords...