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
Chariots of fire

In the Old Testament, the prophet Elijah was carried into heaven by a chariot of fire. “Chariots of Fire” was also the title of a famous British film...

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Charity begins at home

This aphorism that kindly, caring principles and behaviour should have root in one’s home life before being extended to the world is attributed by mos...

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Charlie’s dead

British informal, prevalent among schoolchildren since c. 1945, indicating that a girl’s slip or petticoat is showing beneath the hem of the skirt. Th...

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Charlie/Charlies

A right Charlie or a proper Charlie is British slang for a fool or idiot and dates from around the 1930s. There are three theories about its origin, a...

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Charmed life

To lead a charmed life is to enjoy a period of good fortune as if by means of a charm or spell. The expression was coined by Shakespeare in Macbeth (1...

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Charwoman/lady

Charwoman is a British term for a domestic servant, a woman hired by the day who does house cleaning and odd jobs around the house. The term dates fro...

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Chat/chatter/chatterbox

see Chit-chat


Chauvinist

Today, this word seems to be reserved for male chauvinists, men who denigrate or doubt the abilities of women from a sexist point of view. In its wide...

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Chav

A term for low class youth is British slang from the early 21st century. The word is thought to derive from Romany chavi meaning child. The Sunday Tel...

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Cheapskate

This word for a miserly, contemptible person is of American origin from the late 19th century. The word skate in America during the 19th century meant...

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Checkmate

Now often means to block or foil but originally refers to the winning move in a game of chess, which goes back in English to The Middle Ages but is mu...

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Cheek by jowl

Meaning crowded together, literally cheek by jaw, jowl being on old word for jaw. The expression dates from the 16th century.


Cheese

From the early 19th century, the cheese was slang for the best, the fashion or the correct thing and some sources ascribe this to the Hindu or Urdu wo...

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Cheesed off

British military slang for fed up or annoyed dates from mid-20th century. The origin is obscure but probably related to hard cheese meaning hard or ba...

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Cheesy

Unpleasant, outdated, insincere, British slang used in a number of derogatory contexts since the mid-19th century, deriving from the offensive smell o...

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