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Permanent link for this word: Darby and Joan
A.Word.A.Daywith Anu Garg
Darby and Joan
PRONUNCIATION:(DAHR-bee uhn joan)
MEANING:noun: A devoted old couple leading a quiet, uneventful life.
ETYMOLOGY:After a couple named in an 18th century poem in The Gentleman's Magazine (London).
NOTES:In 1735 Henry Woodfall, a printer's apprentice, wrote a ballad titled "The joys of love never forgot: a song" about a happily married elderly couple. His inspiration for those characters was his own boss John Darby and his wife Joan:
"Old Darby, with Joan by his side,As you can imagine, he wrote this poem after Darby's death. This poem in turn became an inspiration for follow-up poems and eventually Darby and Joan became a metaphor. In the UK, clubs for old people are still called Darby and Joan clubs.
USAGE:"On the shores of holy Lake Manosarovar there is a nameless hotel run by a very elderly couple, a sort of Tibetan Darby and Joan."
Karen Swenson; At Tibetan Hotels, Don't Expect the Light To Be Left On; The Wall Street Journal (New York); Dec 4, 2001.
A THOUGHT FOR TODAY:It is good to rub and polish your mind against that of others. -Michel de Montaigne, essayist (1533-1592)