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Today's Word



May 29, 2024
This week’s theme
Terms formed from names

This week’s words
Hooray Henry
nervous Nelly
flash Harry
Aunt Sally
good-time Charlie

Flash Harry in the 1957 film Blue Murder at St Trinian’s (3 min.)

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with Anu Garg

flash Harry

(flash HAR-ee)

noun: A man who dresses and behaves in a vulgar, showy, or pretentious manner.

From flash (showy) + generic use of the name Harry. Earliest documented use: 1960.

Harry is a diminutive of names such as Henry, Harold, Harrison, and Harvey. The exact origin of Harry in this term is unknown, but Harry was a common name for working-class men in Britain, often associated with a certain brashness or flamboyance. The modern usage of flash Harry may have been reinforced by the Flash Harry character in the St Trinian’s movie series. Also see harry

“‘My son, Simon, talked me into buying the Porsche,’ she chuckled after the event. ‘I had always wanted one -- but at my age! When the police stopped me I think they thought it was going to be some flash Harry, but out came this fat little old lady.’”
Steve Pratt; Marvellous Mollie; Northern Echo (Darlington, UK); Sep 8, 2010.

“‘Quick as a flash,’ Harry said.”
Siobhan McNally; Let’s Do This Together; The Daily Mirror (London, UK); Jun 21, 2023.

We are not afraid to entrust the American people with unpleasant facts, foreign ideas, alien philosophies, and competitive values. For a nation that is afraid to let its people judge the truth and falsehood in an open market is a nation that is afraid of its people. -John F. Kennedy, 35th US president (29 May 1917-1963)

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