The final date or time by which a task has to be completed.
Origin: In the American Civil War, the Andersonville prison
camp was demarcated by a plain, painted, white line. It had no fence. Prisoners who dared to cross the line were shot dead
by marksmen placed around the camp.
In later years, when journalists failed to file articles before the prescribed publication date, their editors
would "kill" their stories because they had "passed the deadline".
A square meal
A good, solid dinner
Origin: On old British battleships, the sailors'
breakfast and lunch would rarely be more than just bread and water. However, the last meal of each day would include meat,
and was served on large wooden trays which sailors carried back to their posts. The trays were square in design to enable
them to be stored away easily and securely, hence the phrase "a square meal".
False tears or insincere sorrow
Origin: After eating a meal, crocodiles shed
excess salt from glands located beneath their eyes, giving the impression of tears. According to ancient Egyptian legend,
after a crocodile had devoured its victim, it would immediately appear to start crying with remorse.
In time, any person who showed insincerity or false sorrow for their actions was said to be shedding
To take control of a mode of transport, or to take over proceedings started
by another party.
Origin: In Victorian England, highwaymen
who stole coaches at musket point would traditionally use the words "Hold 'em high, Jack" to instruct everybody on the coach
to hold their hands up in the air while they took control. Hence "hijack".