Expressions & Sayings

~ Q ~


Queer one's pitch - put difficulties in one's way
As a verb, queer is old slang for spoil or ruin. Pitch was a costermonger's or entertainer's word for (a place of) sale or performance, from the idea of pitching a tent. The whole expression would have been heard in market or fairground disputes between stallholders.
Queer Street, in - in difficulties, usually financial
The use of a place name to signify the people who work there is a familiar figure of speech: thus Fleet Street used to mean journalists or newspaper people, Whitehall means civil servants, etc. By the same token, Queer Street is an imaginary place that accommodates people with difficulties. Though originally London slang of the early 19th century, the expression is now standard.
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