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

see Since the year dot and On the dot

Dot the i’s and cross the t’s

This is an American expression from the early 19th century meaning to be meticulous and exact, down the smallest detail and is first recorded as cross...

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Dotty meaning mad or silly is a very old word dating from the 14th century. It comes from a now archaic word dottypoll where poll is the Old English w...

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Double cross

Used either as a verb or noun and now means to betray or a betrayal. From the early 19th century, a cross was slang for a pre-arranged swindle in spor...

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Double down

Double down is an American expression first used in the gambling game of blackjack where a player may double a bet upon the receipt of only one card....

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Double Dutch

see Dutch courage

Double whammy

A whammy is an American colloquialism from the 1930s for hex, hoodoo or a setback, usually in a sporting context. Double whammy came along during the...

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Double-edged sword

A metaphor for something that has both favourable and unfavourable consequences dates from the 17th century. It is quite hard to understand the logic...

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Douche bag

Douche is French for a shower or a jet of water applied to some part of the body and in this latter, chiefly medical sense, it has been in the English...

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Douglas Hurd

A third class university degree from rhyming slang, Douglas Hurd/third, dates from the 1980s. Douglas Hurd was a long-serving member of Margaret Thatc...

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Down a peg or two

see Bring down a peg or two

Down and out

An Americanism that means destitute, penniless or incapacitated and dates from the late 19th century, originally from boxing where it means utterly de...

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Down at heel

Down at heel meaning impoverished or destitute dates from the early 18th century, and derives from the fact that poor people cannot afford to keep the...

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Down for the count

see Out for the count

Down in the dumps

To be down in the dumps is to be unhappy, sad or depressed. The dumps has been an expression for melancholy or sadness since the early 16th century. I...

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