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
With bells/knobs on

‘With bells on’ is a British colloquialism that dates from the late 19th century and means ‘and all the rest’ or ‘with all the extras’. The variant ‘w...

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With flying colours

see Come home with flying colours


Within a hair’s breadth

see By/to/within a hair’s breadth


Within a whisker of

see By/to/within a hair’s breadth


Without a leg to stand on

see Not a leg to stand on


Without moving a muscle

see Move a muscle


Without the shadow of a doubt

see Beyond/without a shadow of doubt


Without turning a hair

see Turn a hair


Wizard

British slang for superb or excellent, especially when used as an exclamation, first attested from c. 1920, but rarely heard these days. See also pran...

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Wobbly

British slang for a bout of erratic, bad-tempered behaviour dates from the 1970s.


Wog

British slang for a foreigner of the darker skinned variety and dates from the mid-20th century. It is most probably not an acronym for ‘wily (or wort...

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Wolf in sheep’s clothing

This expression from the New Testament is commonly used to describe someone who is not all that they seem, or who has an ulterior motive usually to th...

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Woman of easy virtue

see Easy virtue


Won on the playing fields of Eton

The complete quotation is, “The Battle of Waterloo was won on the playing fields of Eton.” It is attributed to the Duke of Wellington (1769-1852) from...

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Won’t wash

If something won’t wash, it means its veracity or validity will not stand up to close scrutiny. The expression dates from the late 19th century from t...

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