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
Final nail in the coffin

see Put a nail in someone’s coffin

Final straw

see Last/final straw

Find a needle in a haystack

see Needle in a haystack

Find someone or something wanting

see Found wanting

Find/finding one's feet

To find one's feet means to get accustomed to a new situation, a new environment, or a new skill or pastime. It derives from the concept of an animal...

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Fine and dandy

Means first rate, splendid or excellent and is first attested in this sense from the late 19th/early 20th century. Before this, from the late 18th cen...

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Fine fettle

To be in fine fettle means to be in good order or good condition and the expression dates from the 18th century. Fettle as a verb, and now archaic, al...

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Fine words butter no parsnips

see Butter no parsnips

Finest hour

This phrase has passed into the language meaning the pinnacle of achievement. In this sense of course it was first used by Winston Churchill in a spee...

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US colloquial to inform on someone to the police, dates from the late 19th century.

Finger in every pie

Involved in everything dates from the 16th century, perhaps an allusion to the old anonymous nursery rhyme Little Jack Horner. Cervantes used the expr...

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Finger in the dike/dyke

A stopgap measure dates from the late 19th century and derives from the story of the little Dutch boy who saved his town from flooding by stemming the...

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Finger on the pulse

This expression derives from the medical practice of taking someone’s pulse. It has been used in the figurative sense of staying abreast with latest d...

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Fingers crossed

The crossing of fingers to form a crude cross as a symbol of luck or good fortune is very ancient and pre-dates Christianity although it certainly rec...

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Fire and brimstone

Generally used figuratively these days to describe any fiery or incendiary speech and this usage dates from the late 18th/early 19th century. The orig...

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