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
Melting pot

Melting pots have literally been around from time immemorial, but in the sense of a metaphor for a place where a variety of races, cultures, or indivi...

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Mensch

An honourable person of integrity; dates from the early 20th century and is of Yiddish/German origin, where mentsh means man.


Mental

Mental has come to mean mad, crazy, or angry, as in 'to go mental', which is usually used in the figurative sense, as opposed to describing a certifia...

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Meritocracy

Government or the holding of power by people selected according to merit, was coined by Michael Young, British politician and sociologist, in his essa...

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Merry dance

see Lead someone a merry dance


Merry way

see Go on one's merry way


Method in madness

A warning from Shakespeare not to discount behaviour that might appear mad because sometimes there may be reason or truth behind it comes from Hamlet...

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Mettle

see On one’s mettle


Mexican standoff

A pointless, inconclusive situation where no one can win, an American expression that dates from the late 19th century. Mexican is used in many Americ...

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Mick

Originally US slang for an Irishman; dates from the mid-19th century and then spread across the English-speaking world by the late 19th century. It de...

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Mickey Finn

An American colloquial expression from the 19th century for strong alcohol, or a mixture of strong alcohol, designed to make unsuspecting people very...

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Midas touch

Sometimes known as the golden touch, the Midas touch is an expression that dates from the 1500s. A person with the Midas touch has the ability to make...

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Middle finger

To give someone the middle finger, pointing it upwards while keeping the other fingers closed as in a fist, is an insulting gesture in many cultures t...

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Midnight oil

see Burn the midnight oil


Midshipman

Since the 1600s, midshipman has been the most junior officer rank in the Royal Navy, the US Navy and many other navies around the world. As a rank, it...

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