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
Dirty laundry/linen

Dirty laundry or linen, sometimes in the form of washing or airing one’s dirty laundry or linen in public, is a metaphor for personal secrets or scand...

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Disappear into thin air

see Into thin air


The etymological root of this word is from astrology; dis + aster, from the Latin dis signifying a negative and astrum, a star. Thus, a disaster was o...

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Disc jockey

This American expression for announcers/broadcasters of radio music is thought to have first appeared in print in Variety magazine in 1941. Other sour...

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Discretion is the better part of valour

This comes from Shakespeare Henry IV Part I, Act V, Scene IV, “The better part of valour is discretion.”

Dish fit for the gods

Any offering, food etc, of exceptional quality, was coined by Shakespeare in Julius Caesar (1599). It was spoken by Brutus describing how the conspira...

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Dixie or Dixieland is an American expression, which means the Southern states of America, particularly those who fought for the Confederacy in the US...

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Do a bunk

British slang from the mid-19th century meaning to run away or depart hastily, derives from bunk meaning to decamp or camp out i.e. to sleep in a bunk...

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Do a duck

see Duck/ducks

Do a runner

British criminal jargon dates from the 1970s to leave an establishment, a restaurant, bar etc without paying.

Do as I say, not as I do

This is attributed to John Selden (1584-1654) who wrote a treatise on Preaching. “Preachers say, ‘Do as I say, not as I do.’”

Do as you would be done by

This is the more colloquial version of the Biblical “do unto others as you would have them do unto you” that appears in Leviticus 19:18 and elsewhere....

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Do for/do in

see Do/do for/do in

Do me a favour

This expression when used as a catchphrase is principally used to refute or query something and as such generally conveys incredulity. Used in this se...

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Do one’s nut

British slang meaning to get extremely agitated or angry dates from the early 20th century with nut being slang for head, from the allusion of losing...

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