Idioms

Idioms

Ante

see Raise/up the ante

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Antediluvian

From the Latin ante meaning before and diluvium meaning flood, literally before the flood with reference to Noah’s flood and describes something or so...

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Ants in the pants

All the evidence points to a rhyming jingle of American origin dating from the 1930s and describes restless, jittery behaviour i.e. how one would beha...

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Antsy

see Ants in the pants

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Any manner of means

see By all manner of means

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Any port in a storm

This expression obviously derives from a literal, nautical expression, but it is first cited as a metaphor, meaning any place of safety will suffice w...

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Any road

Originally, a British colloquial synonym for anyway, dates from the late 19th century, where road is simply another word for way. It is more often use...

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Ape/Apeshit

To go ape is to lose control or go berserk and is American slang that dates from the 1950s with the allusion of reverting to one’s primal state and be...

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Aphesis

In the development of language, aphesis is the gradual and unintentional loss of a short unaccented vowel at the beginning of a word. It derives from...

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Apple a day keeps the doctor away

An anonymous proverb that some sources say dates from the 17th century and perhaps earlier. Other sources maintain that its origin is Welsh c. 1860, f...

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Apple of my eye

Usually said of a person, especially a son or daughter, who is cherished above all others. The apple of the eye is the pupil, the most important and t...

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Apple never falls far from the tree

The apple never falls far from the tree is an old proverb that is used to highlight the similarities of family traits and means much the same thing as...

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Apple-pie bed

This describes a practical joke where a bed is made up with a folded sheet so that the would-be occupant can only get his or her legs halfway down the...

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Apple-pie order

Apple-pie order means that everything is shipshape and in good order. Like apple-pie bed, the origin is uncertain. Once again, there are theories that...

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Apples/Apples and pears

British rhyming slang for stairs, apples and pears/stairs, one of the oldest examples of rhyming slang, first recorded in 1857, but in verbal usage be...

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