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

see Laanie


A popular expression in Australia where it is still used to describe rowdy but generally good-natured hooligans. First cited in Australia from around...

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Last but not least

The earliest citation for this now well-worn phrase appears to be from John Lyly Euphues and His England (1580) “last, but not the least”, closely fol...

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Last Chance Saloon

This expression is now a metaphor for the final opportunity to accomplish something or retrieve a situation, and dates from the early 20th century. It...

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Last gasp

This is literally the moment before death, the last breath but can also mean the last chance or opportunity to complete something before a deadline or...

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Last hurrah

A final, often valedictory, performance or appearance; derives from the Edwin O’Connor novel The Last Hurrah (1956) which was made into a movie of the...

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Last laugh

To get the last laugh means to come out on top at the very end, usually at someone else’s expense. The expression derives from the 15th century prover...

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Last legs

To be on one’s last legs is to be very near to exhaustion, usefulness or even death. The expression dates from the late 16th century.

Last word

The closing and usually definitive remark on a subject dates from the 19th century and led to the expression the last word meaning the ultimate or ver...

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Last-ditch effort/stand

One final, desperate attempt or defence dates from the late 17th century and derives from the military sense of a ditch or trench being the last line...

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Last/final straw

The last straw is the final small difficulty that exasperates to the point of being unbearable. The full expression is the last straw that broke the c...

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Laugh all the way to the bank

see Cry all the way to the bank

Laugh and a joke

Rhyming slang, laugh and a joke/smoke, as in I’m going outside for a laugh and a joke, when actually going outside for a smoke. Sometimes, as with mos...

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Laugh and the world laughs with you

‘Laugh, and the world laughs with you; weep, and you weep alone’ was coined by the American poet Ella Wheeler Wilcox (1850-1919) in her poem Solitude...

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Laugh in one’s sleeve

see Up one’s sleeve

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