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
Be in a cleft stick

see Cleft stick


Be in fine fettle

see Fine fettle


Be in someone’s good/bad books

To be in or out of favour with someone, dates from the early 19th century and means the same thing as to be in someone’s good or bad graces, which dat...

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Be not afraid of greatness

see Greatness


Be on one’s mettle

see On one’s mettle


Be someone’s cup of tea

see Cup of tea


Be-all and end-all

To be the be-all and end-all is to be the dominant or supreme factor. It can also be used to describe someone who has an insufferable, over-inflated o...

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Beak

British slang for a judge or magistrate, dates from the early 19th century and derives from earlier British slang ‘harm and beck’ or ‘herman beck’ (or...

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Beam ends

see On one’s beam ends


Beam me up Scotty

This catchphrase is from the TV and movie series Star Trek, which first aired on TV in 1966. The expression is often used as a jocular way to extract...

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Bean counter

American informal for an accountant or bookkeeper, first attested from the early 1970s.


Bean feast

Apparently, beans were much more sought after in olden days than they are today. Therefore, a bean feast was a special annual dinner given by employer...

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Beanie

Brimless, knitted cap derives from bean, which is American slang for head. First known appearance of beanie in print is c.1904.


Beano

Late 19th century British slang for a spree or a merry time, a shortened form of bean feast.


Bear with a sore head

To act like a bear with a sore head is to be very gruff and irritable. Since the expression is of American origin and dates from the late 18th/early 1...

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