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
Crack of dawn

The thin wedge of light as the day breaks or cracks was first cited as the crack of day or the crack of dawn in America during the late 19th century....

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Cracked up to be

The expression that something or someone is not what they are cracked up to be sounds like modern, informal language but the surprise is that it is ne...

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First class, state of the art, an American expression dates from 1893 but has links to the very much older meanings of crack, cracking or cracker (see...

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see Cracked up to be and also Get cracking


A bad-tempered or eccentric person dates from the early 19th century derives from an Old English concept (pre-1150) of something that is cranked i.e....

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The word itself has been in use since the 14th century when it originally meant the husks, residue or dregs, deriving from the Old French crappe meani...

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A financial crash dates form the early 19th century. Crash as in to gain uninvited entry to a party is from the 1920s. Crash as in to sleep deeply and...

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Crash bang wallop

British exclamation indicating sounds of collision or excitement, which Eric Partridge gives as RAF slang from c. 1939.

Crashing bore

Crashing here is an intensifier meaning absolute or utter in this British colloquialism dating from the early 20th century.

Cream of the crop

The best of anything and cream has been used in this way since the 16th century. It is difficult to pinpoint a date for this expression because cream...

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Cream one’s jeans

Is to experience great delight or excitement, American slang from the 1950s and derives from allusions to semen or vaginal emissions while in a state...

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To cream someone is to defeat or beat them severely as one would whip cream, an Americanism with a first citation from the Princeton Alumni Weekly 24...

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Creature comforts

All those things in life that make us, as creatures, comfortable and happy, like a safe, cosy home, good food, warmth, hot water for bathing etc. Merr...

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Crikey is a common exclamation of surprise and is a contraction of the much older expression Christ the King which dates from The Middle Ages.


The modern, everyday meaning describes anything that is marked by intersections or transverse patterns and is a corruption of Christ-cross which descr...

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