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
Long and the short of it

The long and the short of it means the totality or summation of something or other. Shakespeare used the expression in The Merry Wives of Windsor Act...

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Long chalk

see Not by a long chalk

Long levers

Sports jargon for long arms or sometimes long legs. Cricket commentators are fond of using the expression but not before the 21st century. In biomecha...

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Long shot

see Not by a long shot


Loo is a popular British colloquialism that is now Standard English for toilet or lavatory but its origin remains one of the mysteries of the English...

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Look a gift horse in the mouth

see Gift horse

Look before you leap

This admonition to investigate the facts of the matter before taking purposeful action first appears in Proverbs by John Heywood in 1546.

Look daggers at someone

See Daggers/daggers drawn

Loony/Loony bin

Loony is a slang corruption of lunatic and dates from the late 19th century, just as loony bin is slang for the mental asylum that houses loonies.


Loopholes as small, narrow apertures in the walls of fortifications have been around since the early Middle Ages. The word has been used figuratively...

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Originally, this adjective was Scottish dialectical for full of loops, twists or turns and therefore deceitful and untrustworthy; in this sense dates...

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Loose cannon

Describes a dangerous, reckless person, especially in business or politics, the expression is originally American from the late 19th century and makes...

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Loose end

see At a loose end


A loan word derives from the Hindi lūt meaning spoils or booty, also a verb to pillage or plunder, hence a looter, a person who engages in such activi...

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Lord and Lady Muck

British colloquialism for stuck-up, affected people who put on airs and graces, pretending to be upper-class nobility, dates from the early 20th centu...

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