Reference > Brewer’s Dictionary > Darby and Joan.

 Dar’bies (2 syl.).Dar’byites (3 syl.). 
E. Cobham Brewer 1810–1897. Dictionary of Phrase and Fable. 1898.
Darby and Joan.
A loving, old-fashioned, virtuous couple. The names belong to a ballad written by Henry Woodfall, and the characters are those of John Darby, of Bartholomew Close, who died 1730, and his wife, “As chaste as a picture cut in alabaster. You might sooner move a Scythian rock than shoot fire into her bosom.” Woodfall served his apprenticeship to John Darby.   1
        “Perhaps some day or other we may be Darby and Joan.”—Lord Lytton.
   The French equivalent is C’est St. Roch et son chien.   2

 Dar’bies (2 syl.).Dar’byites (3 syl.). 


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