gazelle in the garden

Definition from Wiktionary, the free dictionary
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English[edit]

Alternative forms[edit]

Etymology[edit]

Possibly from an Arabic word that means both beard and garden. This etymology is incomplete. You can help Wiktionary by elaborating on the origins of this term.

Noun[edit]

gazelle in the garden

  1. (euphemistic, colloquial) Used during a meal to alert a family member or friend that they have a crumb on their face.
    • 1990, Judith Roman, Annie Adams Fields: the spirit of Charles Street, page 12:
      The other ubiquitous anecdote, told by Harvard undergraduates who enjoyed poking gentle fun at the stately and aged Mrs. Fields, describes Annie saying "There's a gazelle in the garden" when she noticed food in her husband's beard at the dinner table.
    • 1922, Ernest Wadsworth Longfellow, Random memories, page 35:
      If he got a crumb lodged in his beard, she would say, "Jamie, dear, there is a gazelle in the garden," which amused his friends and became a household expression in our family.
    • 1956, Louise Hall Tharp, ', page 254
      At one of their literary dinners, should a crumb get caught in the luxuriant Fields beard — "There's a gazelle in the garden, Jamie," his wife would say.

Further reading[edit]