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
May

see Months of the year


May the Force be with you

This is, of course, is the famous catchphrase from the first Star Wars movie (1977) and remains a continual theme throughout all the sequels and prequ...

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Mayday

Mayday, repeated three times, has become the official international radio signal for distress. It was coined in 1923 by Frederick Mockford (1897-1962)...

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Mayhem

During the 13th century, maim and mayhem were interchangeable words deriving from the same Anglo-Norman roots maime or mayhem meaning to inflict cripp...

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Mayonnaise

Historians still argue over whether mayonnaise is a Spanish or French invention. What is indisputable is that this emulsion of egg yolks, olive oil an...

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Mazuma

American slang for money dates from the late 19th/early 20th century from the Yiddish mezumman medieval Hebrew for cash.


Me Tarzan, you Jane

This well-known catchphrase, supposedly drawn from the Tarzan movies, was actually never used in any of the Tarzan movies, nor was it ever used in any...

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Mea culpa

A Latin phrase extracted from the liturgy of the Mass that means my fault. It dates from the 14th century, extracted from the Mass, in the general sen...

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Meal ticket

An American metaphor for a benefactor who provides a livelihood for others and dates from the late 19th century, from the allusion to providing food a...

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Mealy-mouthed

Obsequious, afraid or reticent to speak one’s mind as if one, literally, had a mouthful of meal, the powdery, flour-like substance made from ground, e...

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Mean business

To mean business is to be serious or earnest in intent or determined to take positive action about something or other and dates from the mid-19th cent...

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Meat and drink (to me)

When someone says that something is ‘meat and drink to me’ they mean one of two things - either something that gives them intense pleasure or somethin...

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Meat pie

Australian/NewZealand rhyming slang for a try (in rugby), meat pie/try, dates from the late 20th/early 21st century.


Medium is the message

The medium is the message has become a 20th century aphorism that describes the way that both the content of modern electronic media and the consumpti...

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Mega/Megabucks etc

Mega- as a prefix (meg- before a vowel) derives from the Ancient Greek mega meaning great or large. As a prefix measuring large units its usage dates...

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