A-Z Database

A-Z Database

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British slang for drunk or tipsy perhaps deriving from WWI American slang canned up, which meant the same thing. Canned as in canned or pre-recorded m...

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A leisurely, easy pace usually of horses; dates from the early 18th century. The word is actually a shortening of ‘Canterbury Gallop’ or ‘Canterbury T...

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Cap in hand

In a humble manner, typically when requesting a favour; dates in this figurative sense from the early 1700s. Sometimes expressed as hat in hand and su...

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The word captain means head, chief or leader and stems from the Latin caput/capitis meaning head. The specific military rank of a captain in the army...

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Carbon copy

Relatively few younger people know what his means, not having experienced the days of typewriters and the then common practice of typing on carbon-bac...

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This word derives from the Latin carrus meaning a wheeled vehicle or a chariot, and we get the word ‘carriage’ and its abbreviation ‘car’ from the sam...

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see Kerfuffle

Carpe diem

Latin for seize the day from the odes of Horace, c. 23 BC “Seize the day, put no trust in the morrow!” The original Latin is carpe diem, quam minimum...

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see On the carpet


This was a scornful Southern American term for Northerners (c.1868) that descended on the defeated Confederacy to exploit business opportunities. So-c...

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Carrom ball

The carrom ball (sometimes spelt carom) is a bowling delivery in cricket, so-called after the Indian table game of Carrom Snooker or Billiards where r...

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Carry a torch for someone

The metaphorical connection between the flames of a fire or torch and love, have long been established. In Hamlet Act IV, Scene VII, Shakespeare uses...

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Carry the can

Take responsibility for a mistake or misdeed.

Carry the weight of the world on one’s shoulders

see Atlas

Cart before the horse

To put the cart before the horse is to reverse the set order of things and first appears in English in John Heywood’s Proverbs (1546), “Set the cart b...

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