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
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...

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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...

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X-factor

Never mind the TV talent show that borrowed the term in the early 21st century, and defined the x-factor as that special quality that leads to stardom...

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Xmas

see X


XP

see X


Yahoo

Most people in a current generation might believe this is the proprietary name of an internet services provider. They are, of course, absolutely right...

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Yank/Yankee

Outside of America, Yankee and its contraction Yank are terms generally applied to all Americans. Within America, however, Yankee refers only to Ameri...

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Yarn

see Spin a yarn


Yarpie/yarpy

Pejorative slang for a white male South African derives from the Afrikaans Japie, which is a diminutive of Jaap which in turn derives from the Afrikaa...

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Year dot

see Since the year dot


Yebo

South African informal for yes, derives from the Zulu yebo meaning yes, which although probably centuries old in Zulu, has only become part of mainstr...

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Yellow

Yellow or yellow-belly meaning cowardly is of American origin from the mid-19th century. It is thought that the expression yellow-belly may have been...

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Yellow peril

This refers to the largely irrational and unfounded Caucasian fears prevalent during the late 19th/early 20th century for the oriental people of China...

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Yippee

see Whoopee


Yob/Yobbo

Yob meaning a street ruffian is originally British back slang from the word boy and the OED gives its origin as dating from the mid-19th century. Yobb...

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