shining knob +

neil neil at TYPOG.CO.UK
Tue Dec 7 11:45:39 UTC 2004

I came across this last month:

"You didn't sleep with her, did you?" asked Maggie. "You didn't get your
conkers polished by a murderer?"
Christopher Fowler, 'Full Dark House', Bantam Books, London, 2004, 396

The setting is supposedly World War Two, so I emailed the author suggesting
the phrase was anachronistic, since I only have records of 'conkers' as
slang for testicles from the 1990s.

He confessed that he had coined the expression, but that it seemed natural,
and observed: "... getting one's parts 'polished' is definitely wartime,
because I remember my grandfather using the expression."

Neil Crawford

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