A-Z Database

A-Z Database

All A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z

see kit and caboodle


So offensive is this word in English-speaking Africa that it is now classified as the k word and in this sense is similar to nigger. Its etymology, ho...

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Kamikaze means divine wind in Japanese and was the name adopted by Japanese suicide pilots who flew their planes into US warships towards the end of W...

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Kangaroo court

A kangaroo court is an illegal form of rough justice usually presided over by an unruly mob. Despite its obvious Australian connotations, the phrase i...

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Keel over

Keel over meaning to fall over derives from a keeled vessel that capsizes and this literal usage dates from the early 18th century. The current figura...

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Keen as mustard

As keen as mustard means to be very enthusiastic and dates from the late 17th century. Since the 1400s, the word keen has enjoyed at least three meani...

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Keep a clean sheet

Sporting terminology from association football meaning no goals conceded that dates from the mid-20th century, some say as long ago as the 1930s. The...

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Keep a clean slate

see Clean slate

Keep a cool head

Standard English that dates from the 18th century meaning to retain one’s composure and keep calm. See also keep one’s cool.

Keep a dog and bark yourself

see Don’t keep a dog and bark yourself

Keep a lid/cover on something

see Blow the lid/cover off something

Keep a trick up one’s sleeve

see Up one’s sleeve

Keep cave/cavey

Whichever way it is spelt or pronounced what is meant here is the Latin cave, which means beware, as in cave carnem which means beware of the dog. To...

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Keep one’s cool

US informal dating from the 1950s meaning to remain calm and retain one’s composure, probably deriving from the earlier expression ‘keep a cool head’,...

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Keep one’s eye on the ball

see On the ball

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