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
Happy as a pig in shit

Presumably, this rather vulgar expression derives from the observation that pigs are indeed extremely content to wallow in filth of their own making....

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Happy as a sand boy

Although this expression evokes images of happy children playing in beach sand, that is nor where the expression comes from. Sand boys were employed t...

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Happy as Larry

This expression originated in Australia or New Zealand during the late 19th century. There are two contenders for its origin. The first is the Austral...

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Happy camper

Happy camper is an American phrase for a person in a generally good mood, and makes its first appearance outside the context of camping in the early 1...

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Happy hour

The custom of bars serving drinks at discounted prices and calling it happy hour originated in America. The phrase is first cited in 1961 and the cust...

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Happy hunting ground

Means paradise or heaven in Native American legend and culture, first attested c. 1830 and very soon after that used figuratively to describe any frui...

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A harbinger is a forerunner or announcer, generally with an inferred negative association as in the harbinger of bad news. This usage dates from the m...

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Hard and fast

Originally, a nautical expression, as in making a ship hard and fast, mooring or anchoring it securely. By the mid-19th century, it was used figurativ...

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Hard as nails

Unyielding, harsh, pitiless, impervious to pain, dates from the late 19th century.

Hard cheese

British expression for bad luck, in comment, commiseration or exclamation, sometimes in the form of ‘hard Cheddar’ dates from the late 19th century. S...

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Hard day at the office

see Tough day at the office

Hard lines

Old-fashioned British expression for hard or bad luck dates from the early 19th century but the origin of the ‘lines’ part is obscure. The OED venture...

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Hard nut to crack

see Tough/hard nut to crack

Hard yards

To do or put in the hard yards is to contest or compete in a contest, game or project to the maximum of effort. The expression is originally Australia...

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American slang for an erection of the penis dates from the late 19th century; soon adopted (the expression that is) in Britain and elsewhere.

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