pea souper

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pea souper

dated A euphemism for particularly thick fog or smog. Originally used to refer to the thick, brown, sometimes lethal fog caused by air pollution in London during the 19th and early 20th century, humorously likened to the thick soup made from split peas. For many older citizens living London during that time, they could as easily be killed by a pea souper as by an attack from a criminal. Heathrow had to suspend all outgoing flights for nearly two hours on Sunday due to a particularly bad pea souper hanging over the city.
See also: pea
References in periodicals archive ?
He explained that because of the Clean Air Act of 1963, the UK no longer suffers from the 'pea-souper' smogs that killed thousands in London in 1952.
Another clichA is that Victorian London was always spluttering away under the thickest of pea-soupers. Out of the mist would invariably emerge carriages clattering over cobbled streets, as drunken wenches offered good times in the gas-lit local pub.
the sun had risen to glow, blood-red, through a sky as yellow as one of the old Dickensian pea-soupers. Ash lay, like freshly fallen snow, a blanket on the ground.
Designed and directed by Neil Murray, whose sets never disappoint, this production looked fantastic, with pea-soupers spilling across the stage and a backdrop depicting wild Northumberland (poetic licence there!) swirling moodily.
Fog had descended on the city, and this photograph will no doubt be the cue for ECHO readers of a certain age to regale their younger family members with tales of when we had real 'pea-soupers' in the city!
We've given up much of our heavy industrial and manufacturing capability as well as developing cleaner fuels and with that the famed 'pea-soupers' of the past are a distant memory for us.