While Our American Cousin provides a sage and timely answer to one conundrum (see his comment below), he raises another.
There is, firmly-fixed in the Irish mind, the perfect, the ideal opportunity. It is a “fixer-upper”, acquired at a knock-down price, and with a sea view.
The term “fixer-upper” still seems unknown in Britain. Which, in a way, prompted Malcolm’s original thought. “Fixer-uppers” in Britain seem to be graduated all the way from
- “in need of some cosmetic enhancement” (i.e. not decorated since magnolia paint and woodchip paper was all the vogue),
to that estate-agent’s polishing-of-the-jobbie:
- “needing considerable refurbishment” (which, in Malcolm’s mind, and in view of the following paragraph, implies warnings of structural stability).
Earlier this year Malcolm was induced to inspect, on behalf of one daughter, a flat in Muswell Hill, thus described. At that moment in time, the UK property market had reached its nadir. The flat had been re-possessed. The previous occupants, from the discarded correspondence, would seem to have been East Europeans. They had taken with them the entire fixtures-and-fittings, some by simply ripping them out of the wall. The result was mayhem and filth. None of that was the break-point: it was the ridiculously-short remaining lease.
So, was “fixer-upper” an immigrant to Ireland from the US? Across the water, it seems to have been current for some time. Or did the Irish export the term to the New World?