Word Origin & History

"affected pseudo-archaic diction of historical novels," 1888, from street in London lined with shops selling imitation-antique furniture.
"This is not literary English of any date; this is Wardour-Street Early English -- a perfectly modern article with a sham appearance of the real antique about it." [A. Ballantyne, "Wardour-Street English," Longman's Magazine, October, 1888]
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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