The Alternative English Dictionary: America at home

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Entry definition

America at home etymology Originally, and literally, the state of enjoying the comfortable life associated with emigrating to America while remaining "at home" in Ireland (thus having the best of both worlds). E.g.:
  • 1887, Conyngham Crawford Taylor The Queen's jubilee and Toronto "called back" from 1887 to 1847 p.387 As landlords in Canada expect their tenants to pay their rent when due, Mr. Kilbride would not improve his position by emigrating to this country, as, to use a common Irish expression, he appears to have a "very good America at home."
  • 1971, Thomas P. Flanagan, Seanad Éireann debates 19 May 1971 Vol.70 no.4 p.5 c.292: She asked me if I was the man who was in charge of the turf production and I said I was. She began to praise me and bless me because she said they had England and America at home. In other words, the earnings from turf production on a family basis were equivalent to what they would have got in England and America if the family had emigrated.
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  1. (Irish, informal, dated) the height of luxury, comfort, or modernity
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