the English disease


the English disease
   1. male homosexuality A usage not often heard in England: We call this thing a disease and sometimes the English disease. (Burgess, 1980 — a New Yorker was talking about male homosexuality)
   2. a propensity to go on strike
   This time the phrase was used both at home and abroad.
   See also French leave and Spanish practices.

How not to say what you mean: A dictionary of euphemisms. . 2014.

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