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
God forbid

An ancient prayer or wish that something may not happen; and is probably older than its occurrence throughout the Bible but the Bible source usually g...

Read More

God forbids

Rhyming slang for kids, God forbids/kids, as in don’t wake the God forbids was first heard in the 1950s and is still popular. See also dustbin lids.

God helps those who help themselves

Meaning that God only helps those who show some initiative. It is an old Greek proverb, and therefore originally appeared in the form of 'the gods hel...

Read More

God moves in mysterious ways

This was coined by William Cowper (1731-1800) in 1779 in Olney Hymns, although the original quotation is, “God moves in a mysterious way.”


This Anglo-Indian word for a shed or a store, spelt as one word, dates from the late 16th century and has nothing whatsoever to do with the phrase 'go...

Read More

Gods, up in the

see Up in the gods


Southern African slang for people of coloured (mixed race) origin dates from the mid-20th century. Some sources maintain it was originally Afrikaans s...

Read More


Goggles in the sense of protective eyewear dates from the early 18th century, and derives from goggle meaning to stare or squint, which dates from The...

Read More

Going for a song

see For a song

Going great guns

Performing forcefully and vigorously at great speed, in this context dates from the early 20th century and was associated with horseracing. Blowing gr...

Read More

Going like a Boeing

This expression, a modern version of the expression going great guns and which means performing vigorously with great gusto and speed was prompted by...

Read More

Going like the clappers (of hell)

see Hell’s bells

Going to hell in a hand basket/handcart

This expression means to be on a course for disaster and is of American origin from the mid-19th century. There are connotations and allusions to crim...

Read More


In the sense of a woman who associates with men for financial gain dates from the early 20th century. The story that it derives from digging up corpse...

Read More

Golden handshake

Sum of money, usually generous, given to an employee either on retirement or in recognition of long and excellent service, dates from the mid-1950s; o...

Read More

back to top