Etymology
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par excellence 

French, from Latin per excellentiam "by the way of excellence." French par "by, through, by way of, by means of" is from Latin per (see per). For second element, see excellence.

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dead end (n.)

"closed end of a passage," 1851 in reference to drainpipes, 1874 in reference to railway lines; by 1886 of streets; from dead (adj.) + end (n.). Figurative use, "course of action that leads nowhere," is by 1914. As an adjective in the figurative sense by 1917; as a verb by 1921. Related: Dead-ended; dead-ending; deadender (by 1996).

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per capita 

1680s, Latin, "by the head, by heads," from per (see per) + capita "head" (see capital).

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Double Dutch 

"gibberish, incomprehensible language," by 1847 (High Dutch for "incomprehensible language" is recorded by 1789); from double (adj.) + Dutch.

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long shot (n.)

also long-shot, in the figurative sense of "something unlikely," 1867, from long (adj.) + shot (n.). The notion is of a shot at a target from a great distance, thus difficult to make. The phrase by a long shot "by a considerable amount," frequently negative, is attested by 1830, American English colloquial. The cinematic sense of the noun phrase is from 1922. As an adjective by 1975.

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show up (v.)

verbal phrase, by 1826 as "to disgrace through exposure;" see show (v.) + up (adv.). The meaning "to put in an appearance, be (merely) present" is by 1888. The noun sense of "an exposure of something concealed" is by 1830, colloquial.

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beat off (v.)

"drive (something) away by violent blows," 1640s, from beat (v.) + off (adv.). The meaning "masturbate" is recorded by 1960s.

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Q and A 

also Q & A, 1954 (adj.), abbreviation of question and answer (itself attested by 1817 as a noun, by 1839 as an adjective).

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solvitur ambulando 

an appeal to practical experience for a solution or proof, Latin, literally "(the problem) is solved by walking," originally in reference to the proof by Diogenes the Cynic of the possibility of motion.

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blind date (n.)

by 1921, U.S. college student slang, from blind (adj.) + date (n.3). Earliest attested use is in reference to the person; of the event by 1925.

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