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
Kick over the traces

Means to cast off restraint, authority or control and derives from the leather harness or traces to which a horse is attached when harnessed to a vehi...

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Kick the bucket

Means of course to die and in this figurative sense dates from the 18th century. Before this, from the 16th century, a bucket was the beam or yoke fro...

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Kick the can down the road

US informal expression that means to put off or postpone what should be done now by seemingly making random or desultory progress. Derives from the li...

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Kickback

A discount or payback, sometimes illegal or fraudulent, American colloquialism dates from the early 20th century.


Kid gloves

see Treat someone with kid gloves


Kid/Kidding

Besides its meaning a young goat, kid is also slang for a young child since the late 1600s. To kid someone i.e. to make him or her believe something t...

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Kidnap/kidnapper

To steal a child for money or ransom dates from the late 1600s and derives from kid, a young child + napper, which is a variation of nabber, someone w...

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Kif/Kiff

South African slang for cool, a general term of approbation or approval, dates from the late 1980s. It is thought to derive from the Afrikaans gif mea...

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Kill the fatted calf

Entertain with lavish hospitality, the source is the New Testament Luke 15:23, the parable of the prodigal son, “Bring hither the fatted calf and kill...

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Kill the goose that laid the golden egg

The Goose with the Golden Eggs is one of the most popular fables by Aesop c. 550 BC. This expression has become idiomatic for any unprofitable action...

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Kill time

see Time to kill


Kill two birds with one stone

Achieve two objectives with one strategy or action. Thomas Hobbes is certainly credited with one of the first appearances of the expression in English...

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Kill with kindness

To kill with kindness means to be excessively kind to a person as to actually cause them harm. The coining of this expression is attributed to Shakesp...

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Killing time

see Time to kill


Kilter

see Out of kilter


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