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
Dickhead

Slang term for a stupid person, usually only applied to men, dates from the 1960s, but the practice of using the word ‘head’ as a suffix is originally...

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Dicky

Dicky is a British colloquialism that means not functioning properly, as in ‘a dicky heart’, or it can mean unwell as in ‘feeling a bit dicky’. Both t...

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Dicky bird

Children’s talk for a small bird dates from the late 18th century but the origin is obscure, perhaps echoic of the sounds that small birds make and oc...

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Dicky bow

Another name for a bow tie dates from the mid-19th century, probably derives from its association with dicky as in a detachable shirtfront.


Dicky seat

Sometimes called a rumble seat was the foldout seat at the rear of some early automobiles dates from the early 20th century but why dicky remains obsc...

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Did not turn a hair

see Turn a hair


Diddle

Diddle in the sense of to cheat or swindle dates from the early 19th century and derives from Jimmy Diddler, a fictional swindler in the popular farce...

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Diddly squat

see Squat


Die is cast

As in 'the die is cast', meaning that a crucial and probably irreversible decision has been taken. The most obvious derivation is from the throw or ca...

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Die wondering

This catchphrase is usually in the negative form of not to die wondering or the injunction don’t die wondering, which of course means to get on with w...

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Die-hard

A die-hard is a person or attitude that resists stubbornly to the last, from the literal sense of resisting until death. Thus, people had been dying h...

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Die, as straight as

see Straight as a die


Different strokes for different folks

Some sources attribute the coining of this phrase to Muhammad Ali in 1966 when describing his repertoire of punches, as was quoted in a US newspaper a...

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Dig

Dig as in to like or understand something is Black American slang from the 1930s.


Dig in/into

To work doggedly and intensively, the expression dates from the 19th century. It can also to eat heartily, a colloquial usage from the late 19th/early...

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