Larry Lempert wrote:
> [I] will be pleased as punch to get back to you
I've heard "pleased as punch" before but never knew where
it came from. I just looked it up in the OED.
Punch is the short form of Punchinello, the name of a
Neapolitan hook-nosed, humpbacked character in the
commedia dell'arte (yes, the prototype for the later Punch
and Judy). "Punchinello" was first used in English in 1662.
The first quotation for "as pleased as Punch" is 1797.
by W. Gifford in Baviad & Maeiad "Oh! how my fingers itch
to pull thy nose! As pleased as Punch, I'd hold it in my gripe."
Oxford English Dictionary
Third edition, July 2010; online version November 2010
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Received on Thu Feb 24 2011 - 09:33:24 EST