One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
A personification of England or the typical Englishman, represented as a stout red-faced farmer in a top hat and high boots.
- ‘Henceforth, Palmerston found that he could control the electorate (which in fact he feared) by this John Bull approach.’
- ‘In the last few years we've had Heffer, Paxman, Marr, Nairn, Davies, Barnett Marquand and now Andrew Marr, all interrogating the soul of John Bull.’
Late 18th century: from the name of a character representing the English nation in John Arbuthnot's satire Law is a Bottomless Pit; or, the History of John Bull (1712).
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