One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
nounin phrase do a Melba
Return from retirement, or make several farewell appearances.
- ‘Perhaps some of these words and expressions will do a Melba one day.’
- ‘I realised I'd have to make an overt confession and say I was doing a Melba - I'm not going to make another announcement, you can count on that.’
- ‘I'm doing a Melba and will be back in the water on Monday.’
1970s: from the name of the soprano Dame Nellie Melba (see Melba, Dame Nellie), who made repeated ‘farewell’ appearances.
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