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Bobby dazzler?

Posted by Gary Martin on February 27, 2006

In Reply to: Bobby dazzler? posted by Bruce Kahl on February 27, 2006

: : Bobby dazzler? Exactly what does it mean & where does it come from?

: See link below for a possible lead for you.

That link points to a reference to a 1977 TV series. Bobby dazzler is much older than that. It means 'a striking or exciting person, especially in their dress'. I believe it to be from the northen counties of England. It is certainly still used here in Yorkshire. The OED has:

"1866 - Morgan-rattlers... In Cornwall the word is frequently applied to things that are particularly striking or excellent of their kind. What a Lancashire man would sometimes call a 'regular bobby-dazzler', a Cornishman would call a 'regular morgan-rattler'."

Morgan rattler is a new one on me though. I visit Cornwall frequently and I've never heard it there, or anywhere.