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
Hoodwink

Having heard this word so often in movies, especially Westerns, one would think its origin is American. It comes as a bit of a surprise for most peopl...

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Hooey

US slang for rubbish or nonsense dates from the 1920s of unknown origin.


Hook or by crook

see By hook or by crook


Hook, line and sinker

To swallow something hook, line and sinker is to take the bait as it were and completely believe an unlikely story. It is an American expression from...

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Hooked

see Off the hook


Hooker

American term for a prostitute dates from around 1830 and derives from the way such women catch or hook their clients, much in the same way as an angl...

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Hookey/hooky

As in to play hookey or play truant, is American from the 1840s. Americans have three theories about the origin; the Dutch hoekje meaning to hide, pla...

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Hooligan

A British term for a ruffian or thug dates from the late 19th century and supposedly derives from an Irish surname Hooligan, Houligan or perhaps even...

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Hooray Henry

This expression for a noisy, obnoxious and generally upper class moron became very popular in Britain from the 1960s and was perhaps inspired by Damon...

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Hooray/hurrah

These particular shouts of approbation, encouragement or exultation date back to the late 17th century. According to the OED, hurrah is the literary a...

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Hoot

Meaning a laugh or something funny, as in an absolute hoot dates from the early 20th century and derives from hooting with laughter, which dates from...

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Hooter/hooters

Hooter is British slang for nose from the 1930s, from hooter being an alternative word for trumpet, from the allusion that trumpet-blowing and nose-bl...

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Hope against hope

To keep on hoping in extremis i.e. even when abandoned by hope itself, coined by St Paul in his letter to the Romans 4:18 when referring to Abraham, “...

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Hope in hell

see Not a hope in hell


Hope springs eternal

The full quotation is “Hope springs eternal in the human breast” coined by Alexander Pope in An Essay on Man (1733-1734) and soon became proverbial.

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