Oi Polloi to Old as Adam
Oi Polloi properly Hoi Polloi. (Greek.) The commonalty, the many. In University slang the poll men, or those who take degrees without honours.
Oignement de Bretaigne (French). A sound drubbing. Oignement is a noun corruptly formed from
hogner. In Lyons boys called the little cuffs which they gave each other hognes.
Frére Eleuthere a trenchoisons,
Oignons d'Egypte The flesh-pots of Egypt. Hence regretter les oignons d'Egypte, to sigh for the
flesh-pots of Egypt, to long for luxuries lost and gone.
Grifon. Que fais-tu là?
Pas ne savoit ongnons peler.
Oil To strike oil. To make a happy hit or valuable discovery. The phrase refers to hitting upon or discovering a bed of petroleum or mineral oil.
Oil of Palms Money. Huile is French slang for money, as will appear from the following quotation:- Il faudra que vostre bourse fasse les frais de vostre curiosité; il fant de la pecune, il faut de l'huile. (La Fausse Coquette, ii. 7; 1694.)
Oil on Troubled Waters To pour oil on troubled waters, as a figure of speech, means to soothe the
troubled spirit. A soft answer turneth away wrath.
Oil the Knocker (To). To fee the porter. The expression is from Racine, On n'entre point chez lui sans graisser le marteau (No one enters his house without oiling the knocker). (Les Plaideurs.)
Ointment Money. From the fable De la Vieille qui Oint la Palme au Chevalier (thirteenth century).
Volebant autem praefati clerici aliquem haberë legatum natio'në Romanum, que unguentis Anglicis, auro scilicet et argento solent ad quaelibet inclinari.- Gervais de Canterbury: Chronicle; Scriptores decem ii., 1533.
Olaf or Olave (St.). The first Christian king of Norway, slain in battle by his pagan subjects in 1030. He is usually represented in royal attire, bearing the sword or halbert of his martyrdom, and sometimes carrying a loaf of bread, as a rebus on his name, which in Latin is Holofius or Whole-loaf. (Born 995.)
Old Bags John Scott, Lord Eldon; so called from his carrying home with him in different bags the cases still pending his judgment. (1751-1838.)
Old Bona Fide Louis XIV. (1638, 1643-1715).
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