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South-Sea Scheme or Bubble


A stock-jobbing scheme devised by Sir John Blunt, a lawyer. The object of the company was to buy up the National Debt, and to be allowed the sole privilege of trading in the South Seas. The £100 shares soon realised ten times that sum, but the whole bubble burst in 1720 and ruined thousands. (1710–1720.) The term is applied to any hollow scheme which has a splendid promise, but whose collapse will be sudden and ruinous. (See Mississippi Bubble.)


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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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Soul Cakes
Soul and Spirit
Soul of a Goose or Capon
Sound Dues
Sound as a Bell
Sound as a Roach
Sour Grapes
Sour Grapeism
South-Sea Scheme or Bubble
Southampton Street (London)
Southampton’s Wise Sons
Southern Gate of the Sun
Sow (to rhyme with “now”)
Spa or Spa Water
Spadish Language (In)
Spafields (London)