A-Z Database

A-Z Database

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Gad is a word that dates from the 1400s meaning to go from one place to another, as in gadding about or on the gad.


Since the early 17th century, these have been minced oaths for God, as in expressions like By Gad!


A gadfly is the popular name of a fly which bites and goads cattle. Since the mid-17th century, it has been used figuratively to describe an annoying...

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Meaning a blunder, an indiscreet act or remark and usually spelt gaffe with an e, is first attested in this sense, according to the OED, from c. 1909...

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According to the OED, gaffer is British informal, and is a contraction of the word 'godfather', dating from the late 16th century. (Other sources main...

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see Gods


The two most common uses of this word at first glance seem unconnected. The first and perhaps more common usage is the figurative one meaning to urge...

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Game breaker/changer

This American expression was first used in sporting contexts during the early 21st century, refers to a player or tactic that would radically transfor...

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Game of soldiers

This expression is usually preceded by a variety of curses, from the profane to the relatively banal, as in bugger/fuck/sod/blow this, for a game of s...

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Game, set and match

This is obviously the final match winning point in the final game and final set of a tennis match. The phrase is frequently used outside of tennis to...

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This word entered the language with the publication of The Theory and Practice of Gamesmanship written by Stephen Potter and published in 1947. The al...

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Since the early 17th century, this has come to mean a whole scale, series or range of anything. In The Middle Ages, however, when it was coined, it wa...

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Gander is both a verb meaning to look at something or a noun as in to take a gander at something and although commonly used in Britain and elsewhere,...

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At a very fast intensive speed or pace, as in expressions like, coming on like gangbusters or going like gangbusters. It is an Americanism dating from...

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British colloquialism for a greedy person dates from the mid-19th century, after the sea bird with perceived voracious eating habits.

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