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higher than Gilderoy's kite

Green's Dictionary of Slang

Jonathon Green

higher than Gilderoy's kite adj. (also as high as Gilderoy , higher than Gilroy's kite) [phr. to be hung higher than Gilderoy's kite, to be punished more savagely than one's fellow-criminals. The 17C Scot. robber Gilderoy of whom a ballad notes: ‘Of Gilderoy sae fraid they ware/They bound him mickle strong,/Tull Edenburrow they led him thair,/And on a gallows hong;/They hong him high above the rest, …’ so high that he resembled ‘a kite in the air’] (US) 

extremely high.

[1780 M.P. Andrews Fire and Water! (1790) 17: (sings) ‘My Gilderoy was a bonny boy.’ – he was hang'd too.] 1866 Catholic World Aug. 687: My lord, will you plase to send for the baste, and if it's a horse, let me be swung as high as Gildheroy. 1869Mark TwainInnocents Abroad 256: She squandered millions of francs on a navy which she did not need, and the first time she took her new toy into action she got it knocked higher than Gilderoy's kite -- to use the language of the Pilgrims. 1881Bill NyeBill Nye and Boomerang 42: The buffer-beam was blown higher than Gilroy's kite. 1888 World (N.Y.) 18 Sept. 2/1: The new union has thus far been managed wisely and well. Its managers have secured the hearty co-operation of almost all the clubs in the country, and figuratively, have knocked ‘higher than Gilderoy's kite’ the old National Association of Amateur Athletes of America. 1889 World (N.Y.) 30 May 6/1: The gentle goddess laid aside her distaff, gracefully raised her accordion skirt and with a Jardin Mabille flash of her foot kicked the goblet higher than Gilderoy's kite. 1894 S.E. Van de Vort Emery Seven Financial Conspiracies 106: Give women the ballot and they will send the liquor business higher than Gilderoy's kite. 1902 Kipling ‘The Lesson’ in Five Nations (1903) 117: Not on a single issue, or in one direction or twain, / But conclusively, comprehensively, and several times and again, / Were all our most holy illusions knocked higher than Gilderoy's kite. 1910 R.E. Robinson Uncle Lisha's Shop 60: Tew drinks on't clear 'ould knock a feller higher 'n Gilderoy's kite. 1918 G.S. Porter Daughter of the Land (2006) 353: Every time I think happiness is coming my way, along comes something that knocks it higher than Gilderoy's kite. Hang the luck! 1938 W.C. Brann ‘the Iconoclast’ Writings (2005) 230: It gives the lie point-blank to the charge of ‘repudiation.’ It knocks the ‘50-cent dollar’ theory higher than Gilderoy's kite. 1945 G.W. Stimpson Book about the Bible 287: To hang a person as high as Gilderoy's kite means to punish him very severely, and higher than Gilderoy's kite signifies very high indeed. 1980 hearing Committee on Foreign Relations, US Congress 43: One strong, bold, fearless man from Maine on the Commission to make the Treaty could have knocked the whole thing higher than Gilderoy's kite.