A-Z Database

A-Z Database

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Full blast

Full blast is originally an American expression dating from the early 19th century meaning extreme or maximum power, speed or energy, and derives from...

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Full cry

see In full cry

Full Monty

The only thing we are sure about is the meaning, namely, the whole lot or the complete works and, as the 1997 movie taught us, when it comes to stript...

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Full nine yards

see Whole nine yards

Full of beans

Lively and energetic, originally American, but now Standard English, dates from the mid-19th century, arising from the belief that a bean-fed horse wa...

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Full of hot air

In the early 19th century it enjoyed its literal meaning as part of hot air ballooning but by the end of the same century it had become synonymous wit...

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Full of piss and vinegar

Boisterous, replete with youthful energy and enthusiasm, an American expression dates from the 1930s. During WWII, was used typically used to describe...

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Full of wind and piss

see All wind and piss

Full tilt

see At full tilt


South African informal for expert, derives from the Nguni umfundisi for teacher. Although the word may be centuries old in Nguni, it has only been par...

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Funny bone

Bumping one’s elbow is known as hitting one’s funny bone because of the peculiar, tingling sensation that sometimes occurs. This sensation is not caus...

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Funny Farm

Originally, American slang for a mental institution; dates from the late 1950s but is now generally encountered throughout the English-speaking world.

Fur burger/fur pie

American slang for female genitalia and/or cunnilingus, dates from the early 1960s.


Originally, from the late 19th century, British military slang for a Sudanese warrior, from the Sudanese method of dressing hair. Later, it became gen...

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Commonly used acronym for ‘for your information’ which according to the OED derives from the language of memoranda c. 1941.

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