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

An animal, person or any creature, US and Canadian slang since the early 19th century derives from a corruption of the word creature to critter.


The full expression is crock of shit but the abbreviation crock is generally more acceptable in public media. It is American in origin and dates from...

Read More

Crocodile tears

Represent an insincere show of sorrow or remorse and derive from the ancient and erroneous belief that crocodiles weep before devouring their prey. Cr...

Read More


This familiar colloquialism dates from 1663 according to the OED and was first recorded as chrony. It was originally Cambridge University slang for an...

Read More


see Come a cropper

Cross bridges when you come to them

see Crossing bridges

Cross one’s heart (and hope to die)

There is a strong feeling that the habit of crossing one’s heart goes a long way back in time and is connected to the old religious practice of making...

Read More

Cross swords with

Since time immemorial, a violent argument might have ended in real swordplay, but even as a figurative expression where to have words with someone was...

Read More

Crossing bridges when you come to them

A strange proverb in that one cannot cross a bridge until one comes to it, however, crossing a bridge here is a metaphor for dealing with a problem or...

Read More

Crossing fingers

see Fingers crossed

Crossing the Rubicon

One is deemed to have crossed the Rubicon when one makes a decision in life that cannot be reversed. When Julius Caesar crossed the river Rubicon in 4...

Read More


An ill-tempered person, usually a child, and derives from the 16th century when patch was colloquial for a fool or dunderhead.


Meaning bad-tempered dates from the early 19th century and derives from the word crotchet which dates from the 1400s and is a diminutive of the French...

Read More

Crow road

see As the crow flies

Crown jewels

Slang for male genitalia since the 1970s. First recorded in America but is generally widespread throughout the English-speaking world. See also Family...

Read More

back to top