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
Complete the circle

See come full circle


Complete the loop

see In/out the loop


Con/con artist/ con game/con man

see Confidence trick


Confab

This abbreviation of confabulation dates from the late 17th/early 18th century, 1701, according to the OED. A confab or confabulation means a talk or...

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Confetti

Confetti is Italian for sweets or bonbons. These were multi-coloured and thrown at festivals or carnivals. In the 19th century, the British adapted th...

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Confidence trick/trickster

Originally, this was an American idiom in the form of confidence game describing a ruse to gain someone’s confidence in order to swindle them out of m...

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Conk/conk out

British slang for nose, especially a large one, and is first attested from 1812. The origin is not known, but the OED says it probably derives from th...

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Conkers

A boys’ game, which the OED describes as “originally played with snail-shells, now with horse-chestnuts through which a string is threaded, the object...

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Connect/join the dots

The complete expression is a conniption fit sometimes with the intensifier hairy meaning extreme or scary, as in a hairy conniption. It means an agita...

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Conscience makes cowards of us all

To make sense of this quotation from Shakespeare, the context must be remembered. In Hamlet Act III, Scene I, Hamlet questions existence (“to be or no...

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Conspicuous by one’s absence

This expression was coined by Lord John Russell (1792-1878) in a speech to the electors of the City of London in 1859, “Among the defects of the bill,...

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Conspicuous consumption

This phrase means flamboyant, attention-seeking expenditure on luxurious items,a nd was coined by Thorstein Veblen (1827-1929) the American economist...

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Continental

see Not give/worth a continental


Continue on one's merry way

see Go on one's merry way


Cook someone’s goose

To upset or ruin someone’s chances of success, sometimes to kill. The expression dates from the early 19th century but its origin is unknown. It is, h...

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