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
Drag racing

The racing of specialist automobiles over short distances, which started in America just after WWII and is so-called because drag was criminal slang f...

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Drag someone over the coals

see Haul/drag/rake someone over the coals.


Drag someone’s name through the mud/mire

see Name is mud


Drain the lizard/python/snake

Drain the lizard is Australian slang for urinate and was coined by Barry Humphries’ cartoon strip Barry McKenzie in Private Eye magazine during the la...

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Drat/dratted

The seemingly mild exclamation drat has an interesting origin in that since the late 16th century it was used in the form of Od rot, which was a minc...

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Draw a bead on

American colloquial expression from the early 19th century means to take aim. Bead is Kentucky slang for the foresight on a rifle.


Draw a blank (stare)

To get nowhere in some speculative effort derives from lotteries in the 16th century when blank lottery tickets were losing tickets. To draw a blank s...

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Draw a line in the sand

To draw a line in the sand means to set a boundary or limit, beyond which, one will not go and is first attested from the 1950s. There have been some...

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Draw a line under or between something

To draw a line under something is to close something off or end something. To draw a line between things is to separate and distinguish between them....

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Draw a picture

see Paint/draw a picture


Draw first blood

To gain an initial advantage over an opponent; used in this figurative sense since the 17th century, with the obvious literal allusion to drawing firs...

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Draw the line

see Draw a line under or between something


Draw the short straw

see Short straw


Draw/pull in one’s horns

This is a very old expression from the 15th century meaning to assume a defensive posture. The horns referred to are not those of a bull or stag becau...

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Dreadlocks

Dreadlocks are the the rope-like strands of hair formed by matting and braiding. The word 'dreadlocks' is modern and is first cited in the 1960s, but...

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