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
Knackers

British slang for testicles since the 19th century or perhaps a little earlier, deriving from the Middle English word knack, now obsolete, meaning to...

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Knee-high to a grasshopper

An American expression first recorded in 1851 that means very small and is usually used in the context of children e.g. the last time I saw you, you w...

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Knee-jerk reaction

An automatic, unthinking response to a situation dates from the late 19th century with allusion to the patellar or knee-jerk reflex, caused by strikin...

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Knee-trembler

British slang for the act of sexual intercourse while in a standing position; dates from the mid-19th century. The expression was popularised again in...

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Knees-up

British slang for a party, especially with dancing, dates from the 1940s, connected with the popular song Knees up Mother Brown (1938).


Knick-knack

Now means a trifle or a trinket and dates from the late 17th century. Before this, knack on its own meant a clever or ingenious way of doing somethi...

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Knickers in a knot/twist

This British colloquial expression from the mid-20th century means getting needlessly flustered or concerned about something as in; don’t get your kni...

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Knife to a gunfight

see Don’t bring a knife to a gunfight


Knight in shining armour

This is of course a metaphor for someone who comes to the aid of another in a chivalrous or gallant manner. The first known citation is in a poem by H...

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Knight of the road

This expression has been around since the 1660s when it was used to describe a highwayman. From the early 20th century, it has been used as a euphemis...

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Knives are out

If the knives are out for someone, it means that person faces hostility or harm to reputation, standing etc. Obviously, the knives here are metaphoric...

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Knob

Slang for penis since the late 19th century from the similarity of the un-erect penis to a doorknocker or doorknob. See also Bonk.


Knobs on

see With bells/knobs on


Knock

To knock meaning the act of copulation dates from at least the 16th century, whereas to knock meaning to deprecate or find fault with is American from...

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Knock about

In the sense of wandering or loitering around in an aimless or carefree manner, dates from the late 19th century.


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