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
Manner of means

see By all/any manner of means


Manners maketh man

A person can be judged by his or her manners. The saying is attributed to William of Wykeham (1324-1404); it is the motto of the school, Winchester Co...

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Many a slip ‘twixt cup and lip

This is a very ancient proverb, sometimes attributed to Homer c.700 BC. Its first appearance in print in English was during the 16th century.


Many hands make light work

A very ancient proverb known to both the Greeks and the Romans; first appears in English in Proverbs by John Heywood in 1546.


Map

The English word map first cited in English in 1527 derives from the Latin mappa, which means tablecloth or napkin because most of the early maps were...

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March

see Months of the year


March hare

see Mad as a March hare


Mare’s nest

A mare’s nest is a hoax, an illusion or a confused and illogical mess. The expression dates from the early 17th century and is preceded by an earlier...

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Mark my words

This often-heard admonishment dates from the 15th century and makes use of one of the many meanings of mark i.e. to take notice of or pay attention.


Mark of Cain

According to the Bible, this was the mark that God put on Cain to protect him, from Genesis 4:15, “And the Lord set a mark on Cain, lest any finding h...

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Marmalade

From the Latin root marmelo, meaning a quince, because in the 1400s all marmalade was made from quinces. Only from the 16th century was marmalade made...

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Marzipan

This confectionery paste made from almonds and sugar was known as marchpane in the 1400s, deriving from the Latin Marci panis, which meant St Mark’s b...

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Maudlin

Maudlin means weak, mawkish or sentimental and the word dates from the 1600s. It derives from the proper name Magdalene, after Mary Magdalene, who in...

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Mausoleum

Since the 16th century, a mausoleum is a stately tomb or sepulchre and the word derives from King Mausolus of Caria, an ancient kingdom situated in so...

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Maverick

This American expression has come to symbolise unconventional or nonconformist behaviour and describes those who do not adhere to the herd instinct. I...

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