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
Would not know from Adam

see Know from a bar of soap

Would not say boo to a goose

see Not say boo to a goose

Would not touch with a barge pole

see Not touch with a barge pole

Wouldn’t give someone the time of day

see Not give someone the time of day

Wrap/twist/turn someone around one’s (little) finger

To have complete control or influence over someone so that only one’s finger or little finger is needed as the control mechanism, dates from the mid-1...

Read More

Write home about

see Nothing to write home about

Writing is on the wall

A metaphor for a sign or clear indication of imminent failure or disaster. The original writing on the wall comes from the Bible, Daniel 5:22, and was...

Read More

Wrong end of the stick

From the 16th century onwards, this expression, the wrong or short end of the stick meant getting the worst end of a deal or bargain and it was not un...

Read More

Wrong side of the bed

To get up on the wrong side of the bed is wake up in a bad mood and the expression in this form dates from the late 18th/early 19th century. The conce...

Read More

Wrong side of the tracks

This is an American expression from the 1920s for the poorer or lower class part of town. The allusion is to the railroads that eventually ran into ev...

Read More


An American slang expression for a weak, ineffectual person dates from the 1960s. Probably derives from earlier slang ‘pussy wussy’ or ‘wussy’ meaning...

Read More


The letter x has several meanings besides being the 24th letter of the alphabet. On its own and usually as a capital letter, X is the letter of the Gr...

Read More

X marks the spot

This expression defines the location of something, usually on a map or diagram. It was used by Robert Louis Stevenson in Treasure Island (1883) where...

Read More

X rays

X-rays are a form of electromagnetic radiation first discovered by the German physicist Wilhelm Conrad Röntgen in 1895. He called them X rays after th...

Read More


see X

back to top