- (a success): da bomb
Attested in reference to nuclear weapons or the capacity to use them since 1932; see quotations, below. As slang for something excellent, the phrase is attested since the 1960s; compare go down a bomb, UK theatre slang during the 1950s meaning “be a major success”. For further etymology see bomb.
- (informal) The atomic bomb; the capability to launch a nuclear attack. Often capitalized.
- Pakistan and India both have the Bomb now.
- 1932, Harold Nicolson, “Public Faces”, in The Spectator, volume 149, page 558:
- The Cabinet, when faced with this proffered omnipotence, had recoiled in fear. True it was that their acute distaste for the bomb […] did credit to their humanity, to their state of civilization.
- 1962, Kwame Nkruma, The World Without the Bomb: Selections from the Papers of “the Accra Assembly”, page 3:
- In my view, the tensions which have produced the “World with the Bomb” can be divided into roughly four classes.
- (slang) A success; something excellent.
- Their new record is the bomb.
- That party was the bomb!
- 1997, Sheneska Jackson, Li'l Mama's Rules, page 152:
- She’s happy, she’s found a little big-head boy who thinks she’s the bomb.