To “gallivant,” since 1809, is to travel, roam, or move about for pleasure, to go about usually ostentatiously or indiscreetly with members of the opposite sex. The word may have come from “gallant,” meaning a dashing man of fashion, a fine gentleman, or a man who pays special attention to women.
“Wench” was in use by the late 1200s and meant “young woman,” especially if unmarried.
It came from Middle English as an abbreviation of the obsolete wenchel, meaning child, servant, or prostitute. Over time it came to mean mainly serving girls, as in a bar wench, who serves drinks at a tavern. In Shakespeare’s day a female flax-worker could be a flax-wench, flax-wife, or flax-woman.
A striking or exciting person, especially in dress (northern England).
A “jalopy” is a battered old automobile, or, in this 21st century, a slang term for an obsolete, worn-out machine or hardware device. The term first appeared in the US in the mid-1920s and was also spelled jaloupy, jaloppi, and gillopy. There are, of course, several theories as to the origin, some decidedly far-fetched. My favorite is this one: the word is derived from the misspelling of “Jalapa,” the name of a Mexican town which is famous for the Jalapeño pepper, and also its former junk-car-scrapping industry.
If you’re “streets ahead,” you’re much better, or superior, or advanced, than most.
The earliest Oxford English Dictionary reference is 1885 in Ireland. In the UK, it’s a very common, but neutral, way of saying, “a long way in front.” One explanation, possibly apocryphal, is that it dates from the time of town criers. The people whose job it was to call out the news started from the town hall and moved outwards. The
streets closest to the center were “streets ahead” of the outer places in being kept informed.
don’t shut the barn door after the horse has gone:
This proverb says that you shouldn’t waste time taking precautions when the damage has already been done. If the horse has already bolted, there’s no point shutting the barn door. It is found in John Gower’s Middle English poem Confessio Amantis, published in 1390 and it may be that the proverb was used in everyday language for some time before that.