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
Chop-chop

To do something chop-chop is to do it smartly, briskly, with alacrity. Its origin is early 19th century from Cantonese Pidgin English chop, meaning qu...

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Chopped liver

Trivial, insignificant, derives from American Jewish informal from the mid-20th century as in, “do I look like chopped liver to you?” Chopped chicken...

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Chopper

British slang for penis, a metaphor for an aggressive weapon, which the penis can sometimes be one supposes, dates from the 1940s. Chopper is also inf...

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Chortle

A portmanteau word coined by Lewis Carroll in Through the Looking Glass (1872), a combination of chuckle and snort.


Chow

Chow is both a verb and a noun and is slang for to eat or food of any kind. It dates from the mid-19th century, and was probably first used by sailors...

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Chuck up

Australian slang for vomit dates from the late 19th century, sometimes inverted to ‘up chuck’.


Chuffed

British informal meaning pleased, delighted or satisfied dates from the mid-20th century, derives from Northern dialect meaning plump and therefore sa...

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Chum

This familiar colloquialism for a friend has an interesting origin. Its first citation is from the late 17th century and was originally used by Oxford...

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Chunder

To throw up, Australian slang dates from the 1920s. There are two theories about its origin. The first is that it is an abbreviation of the naval expr...

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Cinch

A cinch now means something that is very easy or a dead certainty. It is of American origin from the mid-19th century and derives from the Spanish cin...

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Cinque Ports

Pronounced sink as in kitchen sink and not the French cinque, which of course means five. The historic confederation of the original five ports was se...

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City Slicker

Mostly used in a disparaging sense by small-town, rural people to describe a worldly, untrustworthy, nattily dressed urban dweller. It is an Americani...

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Ckoked with ambition

This expression was coined by Shakespeare in Henry VI Part I, Act II, and Scene V. “Choked with ambition of the meaner sort.”


Clanger

see Drop a clanger


Clap

Now a vulgar term for venereal disease but in the 16th century, it was a perfectly respectable way of describing the same thing, deriving from the Old...

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