A word or phrase?
In the Russian language "perdimonokl" became the word. The phrase sounds like "full perdimonokl". In fact, it's a French expression that consists of two parts. It would be better to say "perdyumonokl", but Russian language has made adjustments. So, originally this phrase contains a verb perdu, which in French means "lost" and the noun "monocle" the monocle, that is, glass which was inserted in the eye. The exact translation "perdimonokl" lost monocle.
To wear the monocle was akin to art. In a secular society to lose him was a big embarrassment.
With the word "perdimonokl" some legends are connected. The most popular looks and the most reliable. It was a stage technique that's been used so often that it became a kind of stamp. Notice how a "true gentleman" wearing a monocle, and even better – try it yourself. You will sure hold a round piece of glass in the eye is not so easy. The muscles need to be stretched, eyes slightly narrowed. Now imagine that you have something very much surprised. People in this situation can no longer control facial expressions, muscles relax, eyebrows are raised and... monocle falls. That's what happened with this mysterious "perdimonokl".
About who first applied this technique, theater critics still argue, but it is unlikely to be able to find out for sure.
Change the value
Originally, the word "perdimonokl" meant an extreme degree of surprise. That is, in everyday speech people followed the old theatrical tradition. However, the language gradually changes, and familiar words take on different meaning. So it was with "the lost monocle". Now, this word means not only astounding, but also defines the situation from which the speaker sees no way out, but still can treat it with humor. This is not a complete failure, but a very big nuisance.
French language only some hundred years ago in Russia was extremely popular. In varying degrees, everyone knew him more or less educated people. A mixture of "French with Nizhniy Novgorod" was also a phenomenon almost universal, especially among the middle class, poor merchants, etc. It is in these circles of French words are often transformed into something closer to the Russian ear. Appeared and replacement. For example, the expression "full perdimonokl" to mean "extremely surprised me" is Russian equivalent. The same condition is indicated by the phrase "an eye". Of course, a real eye fall with surprise can not, but inserted in the eye socket glass easily.