heart attack on a plate n. earlier than 1985

‘Bryn’ has provided verifiable evidence from 1984.

A particularly unhealthy meal (especially one which is high in saturated fat) is sometimes called, with gallows humour, a heart attack on a plate. The earliest evidence for the phrase found by the OED’s researchers dates from the mid-1980s and refers specifically to the “Ulster fry”, a traditional Irish breakfast featuring fried eggs, sausages, and bacon:

The fry—potato bread, soda bread, sausages, eggs, bacon and tomatoes—is known in Northern Ireland by the diet conscious as ‘the heart attack on a plate’.

1985 Guardian 1 Nov., p. 15

Did the phrase heart attack on a plate originate in Northern Ireland? We are seeking earlier evidence, from there or elsewhere.

Posted by OED_Editor on 26 June 2013 8.15
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