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
Bugger/bugger me/ buggered

Bugger, on its own, or as in 'bugger me' is a mild British expletive of annoyance or surprise that dates in this sense from the mid-20th century. 'I'm...

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Build a better mouse-trap

This is originally an American metaphor, dating from the late 19th century, which means ‘invent the next great thing or come up with a better idea’. I...

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Building castles in Spain/in the air

see Castles in Spain/in the air

Built like a brick shit house

This American slang expression from the early 20th century has spread around the English-speaking world. It was originally a derogatory description fo...

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Bull meaning to deceive dates from the 1500s and is thought to derive from the Old French boler or bouler meaning to deceive. It has nothing whatsoeve...

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Bull and cow

Rhyming slang for a row, bull and cow/row, dates from the mid-19th century and is still in use.

Bull at a gate

To go at something like a bull at a gate is to behave with uncontrolled impetuosity, rather like a bull trying to smash down a restraining gate. A gre...

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Bull by the horns

see Take the bull by the horns

Bull in a china shop

This expression is used to describe inordinate clumsiness and dates from the early 19th century. It seems to be one of those figurative expressions th...

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South African euphemism for bullshit dates from the mid-20th century.


see Bite the bullet

Bullet someone

see Fire someone, Get the sack and Give someone the bullet


Eloquent but baseless rhetoric; originally American slang dates from the early 20th century, from bull meaning to deceive, cheat or fraud that dates b...

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Bullshit baffles brains

Mainly British officers’ catchphrase dates from WWII that gave rise to the jocular Latin version, “Excrementum vincit cerebellum.”


This word originally, from the early 16th century, meant lover, sweetheart or darling and was a general term of endearment for both men and women. The...

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