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 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.
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 ladyHalliwell 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.
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