old Spanish customs

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old Spanish customs (or Spanish practices)

long-standing though unauthorized or irregular work practices.
This expression has been in use in printing circles since the 1960s; it is often used humorously to refer to practices in the British newspaper printing houses in Fleet Street, London, formerly notorious for their inefficiency. The reason for describing such practices as ‘Spanish’ is not known.
1998 Spectator [Outsourcing] can do much for flexibility and more for costs and it is a proven cure for quaint old Spanish customs.
See also: custom, old, Spanish