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
We are not amused

This famous remark is attributed to Queen Victoria in 1900 by Caroline Holland in a book entitled Notebooks of a Spinster Lady (1919). Holland, howeve...

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Wear one’s heart on one’s sleeve

Shakespeare’s metaphor for openness and honesty, as in not being afraid to show one’s feelings at all times, comes from Othello (c.1604) Act I, Scene...

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Wear sackcloth and ashes

see Sackcloth and ashes

Weasel and stoat

Rhyming slang for coat, weasel and stoat/coat, dates from the 1940s.


see Get weaving


see World Wide Web

Wedding kit/tackle

Wedding kit is British slang for male genitalia dating from c. 1918. Wedding tackle means the same thing and dates from the 1980s. See also Tackle.


see Days of the week

Weight of the world on one’s shoulders

see Atlas

Well heeled

Well-heeled is an American expression from the latter half of the 19th century for wealthy or rich and derives from the notion that wealthy people can...

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Named after Sam Weller and his father, characters in Charles Dickens Pickwick Papers (1837) and has come to mean a style of speech or expression typic...

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Wellies, an abbreviation of Wellington boots, has been around since the 19th century but during the 1970s, the word became popular as a verb, as in “I...

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Went for a Burton

see Gone for a Burton

Went to see a man about a dog

see See a man about a dog


To be a ‘wet’ is public school slang from the late 19th/early 20th century for a weak and ineffectual person. Eric Partridge maintains it is a more po...

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