A-Z Database

A-Z Database

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Gad

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.


Gad/Gadzooks

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


Gadfly

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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Gaff/gaffe

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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Gaffer

According to the OED, gaffer is a contraction of the word godfather from the late 16th century. (Other sources maintain it is a contraction of grandfa...

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Gallery/gods

see Gods


Galvanise

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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Gamesmanship

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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Gamut

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

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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Gangbusters

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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Gannet

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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