By Eric Partridge
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Extra info for A Dictionary of Cliches
All description, it is (or was) utterly beyond the powers of description to picture; it was indescribable: late C. 18–20. ‘For her own person|It beggared all description’, Shakespeare, concerning Cleopatra. beginning of a new era, the ; often, it marks the…, it is epoch-making, a mountain-divide in historical geography: from ca. 1880. *beginning of the end, the . The initial phase of decay, degeneration, ruin, death; an unmistakable adumbration of disaster or finality or cessation: mid C. 19–20.
44. , it’s true). Introductory formulas: late C. 19–20. In late 1939–40, there was running in London a theatrical entertainment entitled Believe It or Not. believe one’s (own) eyes, to ; esp. cannot believe…, not to trust one’s sight: from ca. 1870. ) belong to—to live in—a world apart, to . To belong to a (much) higher social class or to have a much more comfortable home; to be otherworldly: respectively C. 20 and late C. 19–20. belted earl, a . An earl; an aristocrat: mid C. 19–20; in C. 20, often jocular.
22): a comfort, a soothing agency: C. 18–20. balmy breezes; balmy weather . Very mild, pleasant breezes or weather: late C. 19–20; the latter is only a borderline case. baptism of fire ; esp. to receive one’s baptism of fire, to be exposed, for the first time, to rifle and/or gun fire: late C. 19–20. Perhaps originally with allusion to the baptism of blood (violent death) of unbaptized martyrs. ’ A phrase that indicates one’s willingness and readiness: mid C. 19–20. Dickens, David Copperfield, ch.