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Country cousin a person with an unsophisticated and provincial appearance or manners. The phrase is recorded from the late 18th century, in Samuel Foote's The Lame Lover (1770): ‘Pester'd at table with the odious company of country cousins’.

go to the country test public opinion by dissolving Parliament and holding a general election; the term is first recorded in Disraeli's novel Sybil (1845).

happy is the country that has no history memorable events are likely to be unhappy and disruptive. The saying is recorded from the early 19th century, but Thomas Carlyle attributed a similar remark to the French political philosopher Montesquieu (1689–1755), ‘Happy the people whose annals are blank in the history-books!’, and a related saying of the mid 18th century is found in Benjamin Franklin's Poor Richard's Almanack of 1740, ‘Happy that Nation,—fortunate that age, whose history is not diverting.’

in the country of the blind, the one-eyed man is king someone of moderate ability will dominate those with none. Saying recorded from the early 16th century.

See also country mouse.

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