History of words and phrases
On skid row: It means the rather grimy quarter of the city. The expression comes from the Seattle timber industry. A "skid row" was a row of logs down which other felled timber was slid or skidded. It became slang for an area that the lumberjacks would seek brothels and liquor.
A-1: This was started as a Marine insurance term. The ships were graded by letter; the cargo by number. "A" meant the ship itself was perfect; "1" that the cargo was likewise perfect.
Pleased as punch: Comes from puppet show Punch and Judy. Punch had a lot to be pleased about; his quick wit was triumphant even over the devil.