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The origin of 'More front than ... '

Posted by Patrick Lockerby on April 01, 2009 at 21:33

I am often asked questions about phrases such as 'more front than Sainsbury's','more front than Myers'.

I offer an explanation. 'Front' can be an abbreviation of both 'effrontery' and 'frontage'.

Effrontery: French effronterie , from effronté, from Old French esfronte - boldness, shamelessness, chutzpah. Abbreviation: front (British slang)

In London, the original Sainsbury's store had a large and prominent frontage for that era.

The use of 'front' in a comparison of unlike terms is a good example of Cockney humour.