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
Lamb to the slaughter

see Like a lamb to the slaughter

Lame duck

A lame duck is an ineffectual, weak person and the expression dates from the late 1500s. It was also stockbroker slang from the 1760s for a defaulter....

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Lance Corporal

The lowest non-commissioned officer rank in the British army, below that of corporal, dates from the early 1600s. The lance prefix is a relic from the...

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Land flowing with milk and honey

see Milk and honey

Land of Nod

The original reference to this is from the Bible. It was the land to which Cain was exiled after he had killed his brother Abel (Genesis 4:16). Since...

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Land of the living

Originally a biblical phrase Job 28:13 “Man knoweth not the price thereof; neither is it found in the land of the living.” It is also in Psalms 52:5 “...

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This word dates back to the 1400s when it meant someone who owned so much land that some of it was rented out to tenants. It still retains this meanin...

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In the sense of a sweeping, overwhelming majority of votes, especially in an election campaign, this usage is originally American dating from the late...

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Lap of luxury

see In the lap of luxury

Lap of the gods

see In the lap of the gods


So called because the larder was originally the room in which bacon was hung. The word dates from the 1400s when lard was originally fatty bacon and t...

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see La-di-da

Large as life

The expression large as life dates from the early 19th century and originally described portraits or statues, which are literally life-size. Lewis Car...

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Larger than life

Larger than life is a more modern expression dating from the mid-20th century describing persons or characters whose behaviour is more flamboyant or e...

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Lark about

To frolic, play tricks etc dates from the early 19th century. Sometimes also known as skylarking and derives from the aerobatic antics of the European...

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