Which Joe gave his name to ‘sloppy joes’? We look at five interesting sandwiches and their lexical origins.
1A strip of paper impregnated with nitre, for setting light to fireworks or explosive substances.
- ‘At the time the first touchpaper was scheduled to be lit, cars were still queueing bumper to bumper on Netherhampton Road.’
- ‘They delight in allowing their children within close proximity of devices that will burn their faces off quicker than you can say 'light the blue touchpaper and stand well back'.’
- ‘And he can light the blue touchpaper on a Roman Candle, but it may be impossible to tell whether the ensuing two second fizzing is the intended special effect or a product malfunction.’
- ‘Light the blue touchpaper, and retire to a safe distance.’
- 1.1 Used in reference to an action that is likely to cause anger or controversy:‘it was an intervention by the umpire that lit the blue touchpaper’
- ‘Asked to look to the future Adu briefly hesitates, perhaps wary of relighting the promotional touchpaper, yet can't resist touching on the 2006 World Cup in Germany.’
- ‘By contrast, now I just sit there and wait for the magic word to set off the blue touchpaper.’
- ‘He may not be around to light the blue touchpaper at future internationals, but fireworks lie ahead.’
- ‘Mentioning it to members of the 1958 squad was lighting the blue touchpaper of 45-year-old grievances.’
- ‘The Prime Minister had lit the touchpaper and retired to Downing Street, job done.’
- ‘If we follow this route, I think we can both say, with considerable justification, that we have exhausted every conceivable avenue prior to lighting the litigation touchpaper.’
- ‘Any proposed variation of a ban immediately ignites a toxic touchpaper.’
- ‘The blue touchpaper has been lit and things will explode in Question Time today.’
- ‘I like to think that I am not unduly irritated by life, but the last week has finally lit my personal touchpaper.’
- ‘It was those last words that finally lit the blue touchpaper.’
We take a look at several popular, though confusing, punctuation marks.
From Afghanistan to Zimbabwe, discover surprising and intriguing language facts from around the globe.
The definitions of ‘buddy’ and ‘bro’ in the OED have recently been revised. We explore their history and increase in popularity.