Tags » Henry Mayhew

What Is The Origin Of (168)?...

Dribs and drabs

This phrase is used to describe small or intermittent sums or amounts or bits and pieces or people which appear irregularly. An example might be that the guests turned up at the party in dribs and drabs. 595 more words

What Is The Origin Of (165)?...


While we are on the subject of pejorative terms for our social superiors, we may as well look at toffee-nosed. It means snobbish, supercilious or stuck-up, never a good look. 576 more words


Radical Murder: The Infidel Stain

Review: The Infidel Stain, by M. J. Carter
Putnam, 2016. 420 pp. $27

When a young girl finds the mutilated body of a printer spreadeagled across his press, you’d think the police would take a keen interest, especially since a similar murder follows shortly. 798 more words

Reviews And Columns

London Stories: Watercress Girl by Henry Mayhew

The little watercress girl who gave me the following statement, although only eight years of age, had entirely lost all childish ways, and was, indeed, in thoughts and manner, a woman. 

290 more words

‘The Smallness of the World’: Dickens, Reynolds and Mayhew on Wellington Street

In this special guest blog post, Dr Mary Shannon writes about the remarkable London street where a number of noted Victorian journalists worked

Last week, I turned a street corner near Oxford Circus and bumped into a friend from university who I had not seen in a good while. 1,473 more words


origin of ‘barmy’ (crazy)


“T. C. E.” corrects the phrase “balmy in the crumpet.” It should be, he declares convincingly, “barmy on the crumpet”—barmy being derived from the term barm, signifying yeast.

620 more words