Tom Folio to Tooth

Tom Folio Thomas Rawlinson, the bibliomaniac. (1681-1725.)

Tom Fool's Colours Red and yellow, or scarlet and yellow, the colours of the ancient motley.

Tom Foolery The coarse, witless jokes of a Tom Fool. (See above.)

Tom Long Waiting for Tom Long- i.e. a wearisome long time. The pun, of course, is on the word long.

Tom Raw The griffin; applied at one time to a subaltern in India for a year and a day after his joining the army.

Tom Tailor A tailor.

“ `We rend our hearts, and not our garments.”- `The better for yourselves, and the worse for Tom Taylor', said the baron.”- Sir W. Scott: The Monastery, chap. xxv.

Tom Thumb the nursery tale, is from the French Le Petit Poucet, by Charles Perrault (1630), but it is probably of Anglo-Saxon origin. There is in the Bodleian Library a ballad about Tom Thumb, “printed for John Wright in 1630.”
   Tom Thumb. The son of a common ploughman and his wife, who was knighted by King Arthur, and was killed by the poisonous breath of a spider, in the reign of King Thunstone, the successor of Arthur. (Nursery tale.

Tom Tidler's Ground The ground or tenement of a sluggard. The expression occurs in Dicken's Christmas story, 1861. Tidler is a contraction of “the idler” or t'idler. The game so called consists in this: Tom Tidler stands on a heap of stones, gravel, etc.; other boys rush on the heap crying, “Here I am on Tom Tidler's ground,” and Tom bestirs himself to keep the invaders off.

Tom Tug A waterman. In allusion to the tug or boat so called, or to tugging at the oars.

Tom and Jerry - i.e. Corinthian Tom and Jerry Hawthorn, the two chief characters in Pierce Egan's Life in London, illustrated by Cruikshank.

Tom, Dick, and Harry A set of nobodies; persons of no note; persons unworthy notice. Jones, Brown, and Robinson are far other men: they are the vulgar rich, especially abroad, who give themselves airs, and look with scorn on all foreign ways which differ from their own.

Tom o' Bedlams A race of mendicants. The Bethlem Hospital was made to accommodate six lunatics, but in 1644 the number admitted was forty-four, and applications were so numerous that many inmates were dismissed halfcured. These “ticket-of-leave men” used to wander about as vagrants, chanting mad songs, and dressed in fantastic dresses, to excite pity. Under cover of these harmless “innocents,” a set of sturdy rogues appeared, called Abram men, who shammed lunacy, and committed great depredations.

“With a sigh like Tom o' Bedlam.”
Shakespeare: King Lear, i. 2.

Tomboy A romping girl, formerly used for a harlot. (Saxon, tumbere, a dancer or romper; Danish, tumle, “to tumble about;” French, tomber; Spanish, tumbar; our tumble.) The word may either be tumbe-boy (one who romps like a boy), or a tumber (one who romps), the word boy being a corruption.

"A lady
So fair ... to be partner a
With tomboys.”
Shakespeare. Cymbelins, i. 6.
   Halliwell gives the following quotation:-

“Herodias dougter that was a tumb-estre, and tumblete before [the king] and other grete lordes of the contré, he granted to geve hure whatevere she would bydde.”

  By PanEris using Melati.

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