Idioms

Idioms

Adam’s rib

According to the Bible, God created woman from one of Adam’s ribs, Genesis, 2:22. “And the rib, which the Lord God had taken from man, made he a woman...

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Add a/another or an additional string to one’s bow

see Another string to one's bow

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Add flesh/meat to the bones of something

see Put flesh on the bones of something.

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Add insult to injury

This means, of course, to make matters worse or to humiliate someone who has already been hurt. It is in fact a very ancient saying probably much olde...

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Additional string to one’s bow

see Another string to one’s bow

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Aegis

see Under the Aegis of

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Afraid of fear

see Fear itself

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Aftermath

This word means the result, upshot or consequence of something or other, but this figurative usage only dates from the mid-17th century. In the early...

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Afters

British informal for dessert or pudding following a main meal, dates from the early 20th century. From the mid-20th century, it was also used to descr...

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Against the grain

Meaning against one’s inclination or natural tendency and derives from working with wood, where it is always easier to work with the grain than agains...

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Aghast

Aghast and ghastly are old words from The Middle Ages. The original spellings were agast and gastly deriving from the Old English word gast or gaest,...

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Agog

Agog dates from the 15th century and describes a state of amazement or enjoyment. It derives from the French that was widely spoken following the Norm...

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Ahead of the curve

To be at the forefront or ahead of trends and developments, an Americanism, dates from the 1980s where the curve is that of a statistical graph. The e...

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Aim Archie at the Armitage

see Point Percy at the porcelain

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Air punch

Sports people in particular have been punching the air as a gesture of elation and triumph since the 1960s, but the expression air punch appeared firs...

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