pleased as Punch

Punch

[puhnch]
noun
1.
the chief male character in a Punch-and-Judy show.
Idioms
2.
pleased as Punch, highly pleased; delighted: They were pleased as Punch at having been asked to come along.

Origin:
short for punchinello

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Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
punch1 (pʌntʃ)
 
vb
1.  to strike blows (at), esp with a clenched fist
2.  (Western US) (tr) to herd or drive (cattle), esp for a living
3.  (tr) to poke or prod with a stick or similar object
4.  punch above one's weight to do something that is considered to be beyond one's ability
 
n
5.  a blow with the fist
6.  informal telling force, point, or vigour: his arguments lacked punch
7.  pull one's punches See pull
 
[C15: perhaps a variant of pounce²]
 
'puncher1
 
n

punch2 (pʌntʃ)
 
n
1.  a tool or machine for piercing holes in a material
2.  any of various tools used for knocking a bolt, rivet, etc, out of a hole
3.  a tool or machine used for stamping a design on something or shaping it by impact
4.  the solid die of a punching machine for cutting, stamping, or shaping material
5.  computing a device, such as a card punch or tape punch, used for making holes in a card or paper tape
6.  See centre punch
 
vb
7.  (tr) to pierce, cut, stamp, shape, or drive with a punch
 
[C14: shortened from puncheon, from Old French ponçon; see puncheon²]

punch3 (pʌntʃ)
 
n
any mixed drink containing fruit juice and, usually, alcoholic liquor, generally hot and spiced
 
[C17: perhaps from Hindi pānch, from Sanskrit pañca five; the beverage originally included five ingredients]

Punch (pʌntʃ)
 
n
the main character in the traditional children's puppet show Punch and Judy

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009
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Etymonline
Word Origin & History

punch
"to drive (cattle, etc.) by poking and prodding," c.1382, from O.Fr. ponchonner "to punch, prick, stamp," from ponchon "pointed tool, piercing weapon" (see punch (n.1)). Meaning "to stab, puncture" is from c.1440. Specific meaning of "to hit with the fist" first recorded 1530,
probably influenced by punish; noun sense of "a blow with the fist" is recorded by 1580. Noun in the figurative sense of "forceful, vigorous quality" is recorded from 1911. To beat (someone) to the punch is from 1923, a metaphor from boxing. Punch line is from 1921; punch-drunk is from 1915. To punch a ticket, etc., is c.1440, probably from a shortening of puncheon "pointed tool," from O.Fr. ponchon.

punch
"pointed tool," c.1460, short for puncheon (1367), from O.Fr. ponchon "pointed tool, piercing weapon," from V.L. *punctionem (nom. punctio) "pointed tool," from L. punctus, pp. of pungere "to prick" (see pungent). Meaning "machine for pressing or stamping a die" is from 1628.

punch
"mixed drink," 1632, traditionally said to derive from Hindi panch "five," in allusion to the number of original ingredients (spirits, water, lemon juice, sugar, spice), from Skt. panchan-s.

Punch
the puppet show star, 1709, shortening of Punchinello (1666), from It. (Neapolitan) Pollecinella, dim. of pollecena "turkey pullet," probably in allusion to his big nose. The phrase pleased as punch apparently refers to his unfailing triumph over enemies. The comic weekly of this name was published in
London from 1841.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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American Heritage
Idioms & Phrases

pleased as Punch

Delighted, as in We were pleased as Punch when they asked us to be god-parents. This term alludes to the character Punch in Punch and Judy shows, who is always very happy when his evil deeds succeed. [Mid-1800s]

The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer.
Copyright © 1997. Published by Houghton Mifflin.
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