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Like It or Lump It

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Downton Abbey, a program featured on Masterpiece Theater, provided a handful of colorful expressions that date surprisingly far back. “Like it or lump it,” meaning “deal with it,” is found at least as early as 1830 and takes from the old verb lump meaning “to look sulky or disagreeable.” “Put that in your pipe and smoke it,” a contemporary favorite meaning “Take that!” actually shows up around 1820. As for the phrase “you’re sailing perilously close to the wind,” meaning “be careful not to overstep”– well, we haven’t caught wind of the origin of that one. This is part of a complete episode.

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