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he who smelt it dealt it
A retort made when someone has passed gas that places the blame on the first person to acknowledge the smell. A: "What's that awful smell?" B: "Hey, he who smelt it dealt it!"
smell of the lamp
To show the signs of arduous, overwrought effort, and to lack freshness or vitality as a result. (Said especially of academic or literary work.) His thesis is meticulously crafted, but the paragraphs are so dry and calculated, and the paper lacks any flourish or style. As a whole, it rather smells of the lamp to me.
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2022 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.
smell of the lampshow signs of laborious study and effort.
The lamp here is an oil lamp, formerly used for night-time work or study.
Farlex Partner Idioms Dictionary © Farlex 2017