What a shocking bad hat

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I have no idea what's going on in this picture. I have no idea what’s going on in this picture. Quoz!

From Charles Mackay’s Extraordinary Popular Delusions and The Madness of Crowds (1852), in a chapter called Popular Follies of Great Cities:

“And, first of all, walk where we will, we cannot help hearing from every side a phrase repeated with delight, and received with laughter, by men with hard hands and dirty faces, by saucy butcher-lads and errand-boys, by loose women, by hackney-coachmen, cabriolet-drivers, and idle fellows who loiter at the corners of streets. Not one utters this phrase without producing a laugh from all within hearing.

London is peculiarly fertile in this sort of phrases, which spring up suddenly, no one knows exactly in what spot, and pervade the whole population in a few hours. no one knows how. Many years ago the favourite phrase (for, though but a monosyllable, it was a phrase in itself)…

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