Saturday, January 13, 2007

World Wide Words: Ringer / Dead Ringer

"Incidentally, the Australian sense of ringer, for the top gun or best-performing shearer in a shed, comes originally from a much older English dialect word meaning something outstanding or superlative." Source: World Wide Words

email: Where does "top gun" come from used in your description of "ringer" for top shearer?

The US sold 80 F-14 "Tomcats" (the same fighter bomber in "Top Gun" the movie which had title litigation problems, too much like some other westerns) to the Shah of Iran and had 4000 Grumman employees there teaching them to fly them in the late 1970s mostly made on Long Island, NY where the Moon lander was built. I thought I read it was to be 100 F-14s before the "hostage crisis" brought on by students who claimed that the Shah's secret police "Savak" was spying on them in the US without control, a problem Henry Kissinger said he could do nothing about when asked by one of the Iranian students.

What it turned into, I feel had nothing to do with them and maybe about "Top Guns".

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