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

Far corners of the earth/world

Far cry

Attributed to Sir Walter Scott in Rob Roy (1817), “Lochow and the adjacent districts formed the original seat of the Campbells. The expression of ‘a f...

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Far from the madding crowd

This expression or quotation, which refers to getting away from crowds of people is probably better known as the title of a Thomas Hardy novel (1874)...

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The current meaning, denoting something that is improbable or wildly exaggerated dates from the early 19th century. Before this, its original meaning...

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Meaning widely distributed, scattered or remote, dates from the late 19th century.

Farmer Giles

Rhyming slang for haemorrhoids, Farmer Giles/piles, dates from the mid-20th century. See also Chalfont St Giles.


As if we did not know, the OED tells us this word is not in decent use, but this applies only from the 18th century onwards. Before this it was a perf...

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Fart about/around

British slang for fooling about, dawdling or wasting time dates from the late 19th/early 20th century. See also fiddle-fart about/around

Fart in a colander

Similar to a fart in a trance i.e. disorientated, confused, not knowing which colander hole to exit, dates from the early 20th century.

Fart in a trance

To act like a fart in a trance is to be disorientated, drowsy or not with it, sometimes expressed as a wet fart in a trance. According to Eric Partrid...

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Farthing, an old, obselete British coin, is a contraction of 'fourth thing' meaning that it was one fourth or a quarter of a penny. It ceased to be le...

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Fascism now describes any extreme, authoritarian right wing views or behaviour, exemplified by the right wing political movement founded by Benito Mus...

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Fast and loose

see Play fast and loose

Fast out of the (starting) blocks

see Quick/fast out of the (starting) blocks

Fast track

Advance a person or project rapidly is American from the early 1960s, before that it was a horseracing term.

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