Etymology
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hang on (v.)
1860, "to remain clinging," 1860, especially "cling fondly to" (1871); see hang (v.) + on (adv.). As a command to be patient, wait a minute, from 1936, originally in telephone conversations.
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hot air (n.)
"unsubstantiated statements, boastful talk," 1900, from hot (adj.) + air (n.1). The adjectival phrase hot-air (of balloons, etc.) is from 1813.
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carry on (v.)
1640s, "continue to advance," also "manage, be engaged in," from carry (v.) + on (adv.). Meaning "conduct oneself in a wild and thoughtless manner" is by 1828. Carryings-on is from 1660s as "questionable doings," from 1866 as "riotous behavior." As an adjective, carry-on, in reference to luggage that may be brought into the passenger compartment of an airliner, by 1965.
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get on (v.)
1590s, "to put on," from get (v.) + on (adv.). Meaning "prosper" is from 1785; that of "to advance, make progress" is from 1798; that of "be friendly" (with) is attested by 1816.
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go on (v.)
1580s, "advance, proceed," from go (v.) + on (adv.). Meaning "behave, carry on" is from 1777; especially "to talk volubly" (1863). As an expression of derision by 1886.
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air force (n.)
1917, from air (n.1) + force (n.); first attested with creation of the Royal Air Force. There was no United States Air Force until after World War II. The Air Corps was an arm of the U.S. Army. In 1942, the War Department reorganized it and renamed it Army Air Forces. The National Security Act of 1947 created the Department of the Air Force, headed by a Secretary of the Air Force, and the U.S.A.F.
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air mail (n.)

also air-mail, airmail, 1913, from air (n.1) meaning "by aircraft" + mail (n.1). As a verb by 1919. Related: Air-mailed.

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al fresco (adv.)
also alfresco, 1753, Italian, literally "in the fresh (air)." Italian al represents a contraction of words from Latin ad "to" (see ad-) + ille "that" (see le). Alfresco also meant "painted on plaster that was still fresh or moist" (1764; see fresco).
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middle passage (n.)

"part of the Atlantic Ocean which lies between the West Indies and the west coast of Africa," 1788, in the agitation against the trans-Atlantic slave trade, from middle (adj.) + passage.

It is clear that none of the unfortunate people, perhaps at this moment on board, can stand upright, but that they must sit down, and contract their limbs within the limits of little more than three square feet, during the whole of the middle passage. I cannot compare the scene on board this vessel, to any other than that of a pen of sheep; with this difference only, that the one have the advantages of a wholesome air, while that, which the others breathe, is putrid. [Thomas Clarkson, "An Essay on the Slavery and Commerce of the Human Species," 1788]
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Cloud Cuckoo Land 

imaginary city built in air, 1830, translating Aristophanes' Nephelokokkygia in "The Birds" (414 B.C.E.). Cloud-land "place above the earth or away from the practical things of life, dreamland, the realm of fancy" is attested from 1840.

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