Feeds

Public tracks down Gordon Bennett

Also sniffs out dog's bollocks

Combat fraud and increase customer satisfaction

We're pleased to report that eagle-eyed amateur linguistic sleuths have tracked down the earliest sighting yet of Gordon Bennett, whose name has long been held to be a euphemism for "gorblimey", itself from "God blind me".

The discovery of Gordon in J Curtis's 1937 book You're in the Racket, Too! ("Gordon Bennett. He wasn't half tired") came as part of the Oxford English Dictionary's Wordhunt appeal, which invites the public to provide verifiable evidence of a word or phrase's use before the current earliest recorded spot.

The latest updates to the list include wazzock (now tracked back to 1976), dogging (1986), and Glasgow kiss (1982).

The most illuminating update, though, is for dog's bollocks - described in 1949 as "a colon followed by a dash, regarded as forming a shape resembling the male sexual organs".

By 1989, UK mag Viz had adopted the phrase in its "dog's bollocks" compendium, ("the best of issues 26 to 31"). However, the OED can now reveal that around 1986, sleeve notes for the cassette Gambler rather splendidly declared: "They are of the opinion that, when it comes to Italian opera, Pavarotti is the dog's bollocks."

Other delights currently under scrutiny are "dog and bone" (verifiable evidence before 1961 required), "bonkers" (got a sighting before 1957 or "information on the origins of the word"?) and "plonker" (so far traced back to 1966).

Regarding some form of IT angle for this illuminating piece, we should note that the first recorded use of "identity theft" was back on 6 July 1989 in Fort Lauderdale's Sun-Sentinel. The headline read: "Identity theft besmirches victims' records." ®

Top three mobile application threats

More from The Register

next story
Och aye! It's the Loch Ness Monster – but only Apple fanbois can see it
Fondleslab-friendly beastie's wake spotted... OR WAS IT?
Japanese boffin EYES up big bucks with strap-on digi-glasses
AgencyGlass saddles user with creepy OLED display
Sleuths find nosy NORKS drones on the Chinternet
UAVs likely to have been made in the Middle Kingdom
Spanish village called 'Kill the Jews' mulls rebranding exercise
Not exactly attractive to the Israeli tourist demographic
Dorian Nakamoto gets $23,000 payout over Bitcoin invention saga
Maintains he didn't create cryptocurrency, but will join community
Pirate Bay's 10 millionth upload: Colour us shocked, a SMUT FLICK
P2P badboys show online piracy is alive and humping
Teen girl arrested with 70-year-old man's four inch weapon inside her
Charged with introducing .22 snubbie to penile facility. It wasn't firing blanks
Oz bank in comedy Heartbleed blog FAIL
Bank: 'We are now safely patched.' Customers: 'You were using OpenSSL?'
Forget the beach 'n' boardwalk, check out the Santa Cruz STEVE JOBS FOUNTAIN
Reg reader snaps shot of touching tribute to Apple icon
prev story

Whitepapers

Mobile application security study
Download this report to see the alarming realities regarding the sheer number of applications vulnerable to attack, as well as the most common and easily addressable vulnerability errors.
3 Big data security analytics techniques
Applying these Big Data security analytics techniques can help you make your business safer by detecting attacks early, before significant damage is done.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Securing web applications made simple and scalable
In this whitepaper learn how automated security testing can provide a simple and scalable way to protect your web applications.
Combat fraud and increase customer satisfaction
Based on their experience using HP ArcSight Enterprise Security Manager for IT security operations, Finansbank moved to HP ArcSight ESM for fraud management.