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

An Americanism dates from the 1960s, was primarily used by Black American speakers that means the start or beginning. It is derived from the phrase to...

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Get/keep one’s shit together

According to the Oxford English Dictionary, shit meaning unspecified objects, materials, activities, events, stuff, things, etc. as opposed to faeces,...

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Gets my/your goat

see Get someone’s goat


see Do-able


see Aghast


An imitative word meaning unintelligible speech or inarticulate chatter that dates from the 16th century. It has the suffix -ish to make it sound like...

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Giddy goat

see Act the giddy goat


Variously spelt giddyup, giddyap or giddap, it is a command to make a horse go faster, representing an altered pronunciation of ‘get up’. Giddy-up is...

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Gift horse

The English proverb is never look gift horses in the mouth or sometimes expressed as don’t look a gift horse in the mouth. It means accept a gift grac...

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Gift of the gab

A talent for speaking, a way with words, dates from the late 17th century. Gab is an Old English word for vaunt or mock and by the late 17th century w...

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Gild the lily

To gild the lily means to over-embellish or to improve on something needlessly. The concept if not the actual wording is from Shakespeare King John Ac...

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Gilded cage

Life in a gilded cage is a life of luxury but without freedom. The original gilded cage was coined by Arthur Lamb (1870-1924) in his poem A Bird in a...

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A gadget, trick or device usually of a passing or worthless nature is originally American slang from the 1920s and its origin is unknown.

Ginger beer

Rhyming slang for a homosexual, ginger beer/queer; dates from the 1930s.

Ginger up

To ginger up a person is to infuse mettle or spirit into them and dates from the early 19th century. It derives from the rather unpleasant practice of...

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