Did you know that 'meh' has now made it into Collins English Dictionary. Meaning unimpressed, mediocre, or boring it has beaten other words such as Jargonaut, frenemy and huggles for inclusion into a 30th anniversary edition of the book, due to be published next year.
Whilst experts of classical antiquities fight amongst themselves about the first recorded ancient dictionary, it is Dr Johnson's Dictionary, produced in 1755, that most people think of as the first official one. Dr Johnson (1709 - 1784) lived in Grub Street, yes- the name that symbolises the hack writer was actually a proper street at one time (experts reckon the name 'grub' comes from 'grube, meaning a ditch or drain - Grub Street was just by a major drainage ditch - yuk).
He attended Oxford University for a year but was too poor to continue his studies and, in a state of depression, returned home. He pulled himself together though and when he was 25 fell in love with and married 46 year old Elizabeth (he called her Tetty) Porter. One good thing in a life filled with a lot of debt and depression is that in 1755 he received an honorary degree (an MA) from Oxford University.
Now Sam came up with some quotes that are legendary and here are just a few:
Patriotism is the last refuge of a scoundrel
When a man is tired of London he is tired of life
(on second marriages) The triumph of hope over experience
Imagine if you had been at a dinner party and Sam Johnson had been one of the guests - you'd never have got a word in. Meh.