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 Months of the year


Unit of measurement for the intensity or loudness of sound is one tenth of a bel, dates from 1928 and is named after Alexander Graham Bell, the invent...

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The word derives from the Latin decimus, meaning a tenth and derives from the punishment for Roman legions performing badly in battle, which was decim...

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As in ‘deck the halls’ means to cover or dress and dates in this sense from the early 1400s. Deck of cards is first attested from the 1590s. Deck as i...

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Deck chair

So-called because these chairs were first used on the decks of ocean liners, dates from the late 19th century.

Deep end

see In the deep end

Deep pockets

see Short arms, deep/long pockets.


British military slang from the 19th century for look, as in have or take a dekko at this. Although used as a noun, it derives from the Hindi dekho me...

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Delhi belly

British military slang for an upset stomach or diarrhoea dates from WWII with British troops experiencing the phenomenon while stationed in India.

Den of thieves

The origin is the New Testament, Matthew, 21:13. “My house shall be called a house of prayer; but you have made it a den of thieves.”


Denim, in its modern context of coarse cotton cloth from which jeans are made, is of American origin from the mid-19th century. Today, denims and jean...

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Derby / Local Derby

Since about 1840, a derby is any team sport between rivals from the same city, town, or district. The first citation for 'local derby' appears to be i...

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Derring-do means heroic action or chivalry and dates in this form from the late 16th century. It is a corruption of ‘daring to do’ and in the form of...

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Desk jockey

see Disc Jockey

Desmond Tutu

Rhyming slang for a lower second university degree, Desmond Tutu/2.2 or two-two, dates from the late 1980s.

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