This article discusses the use of phrases in modern British and American history writing.
World English is characterized by the growing use of local phraseologies. Historical
phrases have a much more general and richer meaning than what their component elements
would suggest. The article presents a few phrases from British (Two Nations, Great
Exhibition, Crystal Palace, The White Man’s Burden), American (Manifest Destiny, Boston
Tea Party, Nation of Immigrants, Square Deal, New Deal, New Frontier, Great Society,
Star Wars, Affirmative Action, Political Correctness [PC]) and international (Gold
Standard, Iron Curtain, Cold War, Displaced Persons, push/pull factors, center/periphery,
imperial overreach) history, defines them and provides a historical analysis of their
origins and meaning. A historical phrase can be a metaphor or a symbol, but it is
always a historical product, It can only be understood through its historical background.
In historical discourse it is often associated with images and mental pictures.