I thought this might be interesting not news but interesting none the less
http://www.bbc.co.uk/history/programmes/wordhunt/Originally Posted by bbcBalderdash & Piffle explores the fabulous stories behind the words and phrases we use everyday.
The series is made in partnership with the Oxford English Dictionary, which aims to be a definitive record of the English language. Through the series, the BBC and the OED have launched a national Wordhunt. Together, we are appealing to the public to help solve some of the most intriguing word mysteries in English by hunting for evidence as to when and why certain words and phrases were born. The prize – to help rewrite the dictionary and earn these words and phrases their rightful place in history.
By visiting the Oxford English Dictionary online from 2 January you can:
See the OED's newly revised words rewritten with help from Wordhunters.
See all the other words from the programme.
Search for any of the thousands of words beginning with this week’s letter in the OED.
Join the Wordhunt
Did you read about mingers with mullets pulling moonies before 1990? And do you know how they got their names? The Wordhunt continues…
The OED seeks to find the earliest verifiable usage of every single word in the English language, a task that has always required the help of the public.
The BBC's Balderdash & Piffle series and the OED have been asking for your help to solve 50 of the most intriguing word mysteries in the English language. The response has been phenomenal, and our inbox has been overflowing with pieces of evidence which you can see week-by-week in the series. You've sent us school magazines, sitcom scripts and fanzines that pre-date the dictionary’s current evidence, and which provide clues to the history of some 'origin unknown' terms.
For example, when the OED asked for evidence of the word bomber jacket before 1973, you sent in stylish adverts from the Forties and Fifties.
In fact, Wordhunters have provided earlier evidence for 23 of our appeal words! Watch Balderdash and Piffle to see how Wordhunters have helped to rewrite the dictionary by providing earlier examples of the words pass-the-parcel, nip and tuck, smart-casual and many more....
But the work is far from finished. There are still many words on our appeal list that remain a mystery.
Click on a word to see what the Oxford English Dictionary says about it, and how you can contribute. The 50 words on the appeal list all have a date next to them, corresponding to the earliest evidence the dictionary currently has for that word or phrase. Can you beat that?
[* Origin unknown or origin uncertain. The dates in brackets after the words refer to the earliest verified usage.]
We're particuarly interested to hear from you on the origins of the following words as no one has yet managed beat the dictionary.
bouncy castle 
moony, moonie 
mullet* (hairstyle) 
pop one's clogs 
Or perhaps you can find even earlier evidence on the following list than other Wordhunters have come up with so far?
back to square one* 
bomber jacket 
chattering classes 
full monty* 
gas mark 
gay (homosexual sense) 
handbags (at dawn) 
her indoors 
jaffa* (cricketing term)
mushy peas 
nip and tuck 
nit nurse 
nutmeg* (football use) 
Old Bill (police) 
on the pull 
pass the parcel 
ploughman's lunch 
smart casual 
something for the weekend 
throw one's toys out of the pram (or cot) 
tikka masala