old lady



  • (written as Old Lady)
    Another name for the Bank of England. The moniker first appeared in a James Gillray cartoon published in 1797 entitled "POLITICAL RAVISHMENT or The Old Lady of Threadneedle Street in danger". The cartoon depicts an old lady dressed in £1 banknotes sitting atop a chest labeled "Bank of England" and being accosted romantically by a loan agent above her protests.


  • noun one’s mother, wife or sweetheart. The term was notably adopted by hippies in Britain in the late 1960s, not from local working-class usage, but in imitation of American bikers, etc.