(George). The nom de plume of Madame Dudevant, a French authoress, assumed out of attachment to Jules Sand or Sandeau, a young student, in conjunction with whom she published her first novel, Rose et Blanche, under the name of “Jules Sand.” (1804-1876.)
A rope of sand. Something nominally effective and strong, but in reality worthless and untrustworthy.
“Alas! dread lord, you see the case wherein I stand, and how little sand is left to run in my poor glass.” —Reynard the Fox, iv
Source: Dictionary of Phrase and Fable, E. Cobham Brewer, 1894