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

A blunder, mistake, error dates from the early 20th century yet the use of cock remains obscure. The best explanation is that it is simply a variation...

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American slang for ridiculous or implausible as in a cockamamie idea is first attested from the 1930s but its origin remains unknown. Etymological att...

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Cocked hat

The complete expression is knock into a cocked hat or, more rarely, throw into a cocked hat, which means to defeat utterly or to win by a wide margin....

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Originally, from the early 19th century it meant squint-eyed. From the late 19th century the meaning evolved into crooked, skew, inaccurate.


The ‘Cockney’ dialect and accent is a style of English that is identified with the city London. YouGov (a prominent British market research company) c...

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Cockney rhyming slang

see Rhyming slang


Originally, a contemptuous American term for a toady or sycophant dates from the mid-19th century. Later, it evolved into a general term of contempt.


The only thing known about this word, in the sense of an exotic, alcoholic drink, is that it is of American origin from the early 19th century. Despit...

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Meaning impudent and arrogant is from the 18th century and derives from the behaviour of the rooster or cock in the henhouse.


Disparaging term for a person who is black/coloured on the outside and white on the inside, implying non-adherence to original racial background and c...

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Cod is British slang for mock or sham, as in cod Latin or cod philosophy and dates from the late 19th century. It supposedly derives from codger meani...

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Usually in the form of old codger and describes, irreverently or perhaps whimsically, any old and slightly foolish fellow, and dates in this sense fro...

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The flap or bag that covered the crotch area in medieval male fashion as doublets grew shorter. It derives from cod an old English word, now obsolete,...

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The origin of this British colloquial word for rubbish or nonsense is unclear but there are several theories. The most popular one is that it derives...

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Coffin nails

see Put a nail in someone’s coffin

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