A Mrs. Malaprop, or Tabitha Bramble, famous for her misuse of
hard words. (B. P. Shillaber; an American author.)
Dame Partington and her mop.
A taunt against those who try to withstand progress. The newspapers
say that a Mrs. Partington had a cottage at Sidmouth, in Devonshire. In
November, 1824, a heavy gale drove the seawaves into her house, and the
old lady laboured with a mop to sop the wet up, till she was obliged to
take refuge in the upper part of the house. The Rev. Sydney Smith,
speaking on the Lords rejection of the Reform Bill, October, 1831,
compares them to Dame Partington with her mop, trying to push back the
was excellent,” he says, “at a slop or puddle, but should never have
meddled with a tempest.”
Source: Dictionary of Phrase and Fable, E. Cobham Brewer, 1894
More on Partington from Fact Monster:
- Thomas James Wise - Wise, Thomas James Wise, Thomas James, 1859–1937, English bibliographer and book collector. ...