The Gibraltar of the Hindu Kush

X is the Y of Z. There’s a blog for it, needless to say. And of course Language Log has the non pareil discussion of the construction.

But I came across my new favorite example last night, reading Piers Brendon’s superb The Decline and Fall of the British Empire.

The national mood was erratic. It responded most fiercely to issues near at hand, such as Home Rule for Ireland. But it could also react to a smalll Cossack incursion at Buzi Gumbaz: although the Foreign Office had to cable India to ask where this was (in fact, just inside Afghanistan) the Foreign Secretary soon stated that Buzai Gumbaz was “the Gibraltar of the Hindu Kush”.

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