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banana skin

noun
  1. the soft outer covering of a banana
  2. informal something unforeseen that causes an obvious and embarrassing mistake
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Word Origin

sense 2 from the common slapstick joke of a person slipping after treading on a banana skin
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Examples from the Web for banana skin

Historical Examples

  • There was a banana-skin which she might naturally have trodden on, in her way to the tea-table.

    Over the Teacups

    Oliver Wendell Holmes, Sr.

  • Banana-Skin had a shock when he found himself seized and hurled against the opposite wall.

    Tell England

    Ernest Raymond

  • Her corsage was of clinging ivy leaves, in contrast to the fuller effect of her banana-skin skirt.

  • The first banana-skin which a lot of fellows step on when they're put over other men is a desire to be too popular.

    Old Gorgon Graham

    George Horace Lorimer

  • "I thought you hadn't been listening," put in Banana-Skin in a quiet and torturing way.

    Tell England

    Ernest Raymond