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Smells of the Lamp

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Said of a literary production manifestly laboured. Plutarch attributes the phrase to Pytheas the orator, who said, “The orations of Demosʹthenēs smell of the lamp,” alluding to the current tale that the great orator lived in an underground cave lighted by a lamp, that he might have no distraction to his severe study.

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Entry taken from Dictionary of Phrase and Fable, edited by the Rev. E. Cobham Brewer, LL.D. and revised in 1895.

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Small Hours of the Morning (The)
Smalls
Smart Money
Smash
Smec (in Hudibras)
Smectymnuans
Smectymnus
Smell (an acute sense)
Smell a Rat (To)
Smelling Sin
Smells of the Lamp
Smelts (Stock-Exchange term)
Smiler
Smith
Smith of Nottingham
Smith’s Prize-man
Smithfield
Smoke
Smoke Farthings
Smoke Silver
Snack