A-Z Database

A-Z Database

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In lieu of

This expression meaning in place of or instead of is a direct borrowing from the French lieu meaning place. The expression has been in use since the 1...

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In like Flynn

Firstly, the expression is not in like flint, which is often heard. It is in like Flynn and means to be committed to the hilt. It is first cited from...

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In my book

In my book means in my opinion or according to my book of rules, and the expression is first cited from the mid-20th century, as does its negative ‘no...

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In my mind’s eye

see Mind’s eye

In one ear and out the other

Nothing said is retained and remembered, dates from the 14th century when Chaucer first used the expression in Troilus and Criseyde (c.1385) and it al...

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In one’s book

see In my book

In or out of someone's hair

Means to be, or cease to be, a nuisance or a problem to someone. From the allusion of getting something stuck in one's hair, which can be problema...

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In question

Meaning under consideration or being discussed, dates from the late 16th century.

In spades

In spades is a phrase used as an intensifier and means to the utmost degree or excessively so, as in to have something or other in spades or to delive...

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In stitches

see Stitch/stitches

In the altogether

see Altogether

In the bag

In the bag means that something or other is a virtual certainty and is of American origin from the late 19th/early 20th century. It is a metaphor for...

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In the black/red

The expressions in the black and in the red date from the early 20th century and mean in credit or debit, deriving from the accounting practice of rec...

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In the box-seat/s

To be in the box seat or seats is to be in an advantageous position and dates in this figurative sense from the mid-19th century. There are two theori...

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In the buff

In the buff means in the nude and dates from the 1600s. Buff here is the colour buff, a light brown, and derives from what was known as a buff-coat wh...

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