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
Belter

A belter describes something that is excellent or splendid as in a belter of a game describing an excellent, exciting sporting contest of some kind. A...

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Bend over backwards

Go to extreme lengths to accommodate or help someone. The expression is originally American from c. 1925.


Bend the elbow

American colloquialism for having a drink dates from the early 19th century with the obvious allusion to lifting a glass towards one’s mouth with bent...

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Bender

A drinking spree is originally American from the early 19th century and became anglicised by the late 1800s. It is thought to have derived from bend t...

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Bent

Bent as in crooked or dishonest, dates from the early 20th century; the obvious allusion to being the opposite of straight. Bent meaning homosexual, u...

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Bent as a nine bob note

Bent can mean crooked, dishonest or it can mean homosexual, in both cases the opposite of straight. The expression gains its power and emphasis becaus...

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Berk

British slang for someone not held in high esteem. Its origin is rhyming slang c.1930 from Berkeley or Berkshire Hunt. Yes. Hunt rhymes with you know...

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Berserk

A person who goes berserk displays wild and uncontrollable behaviour. It derives from the frenzied fighting style of Norse warriors called Berserkers...

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Beside oneself

Today when we say, “I was beside myself” it signifies a state of extreme intensity that can be positive or negative. One can be beside oneself with jo...

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Bespoke

Made to order as in bespoke tailoring or custom built as opposed to mass produced or off the peg. As a word in this sense, it dates from the late 16th...

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Best bib and tucker

This now refers to our Sunday best or our smartest clothes worn for that special occasion. The expression in this sense dates from the mid-18th centur...

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Best foot forward

see Put/set the best foot forward


Best of both worlds

is is an idiom that refers to reaping the benefits from two seemingly opposed alternatives. Whilst the concept may very well be ancient, the expressio...

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Best of British (luck)

British informal (obviously) wishing someone luck, especially when one’s luck may not transpire. It is thought to have originated during the early day...

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Best pleased

see Not best pleased


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