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
Miffed

Miffed, meaning to be upset or to be put into A5956an irritable mood, is a British colloquial expression that dates from 1824, according to the OED. M...

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Might is right

This concept is very ancient and appears in various forms in the works of Homer, Hesiod and in Plato (c.428-348 BC) The Republic, Book I, against whic...

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Mighty fallen

see How are the mighty fallen


Military medium

This expression is used to describe the rather innocuous pace of a medium bowler in the game of cricket. As far as is known, it was not heard or cited...

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Milk a situation or something for all its worth

This figurative use of the verb milk, meaning to exploit a situation subtly to one’s advantage dates from the early 1500s, (1526 according to the OED)...

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Milk and honey

A metaphor for abundance or plenty and sometimes good fortune or reward depending on the context, derives from the Bible Exodus 3:8 “A land flowing wi...

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Milk of human kindness

Care and compassion for others is pure Shakespeare from Macbeth, Act I, Scene V, spoken by Lady Macbeth musing on her husband’s character, “Yet I do...

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Milliner

A milliner is a person who makes or deals in women’s hats and trimmings. The word originally meant a native or inhabitant of Milan where the best hats...

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Millstone around the neck

Figuratively, means to carry a heavy, burdensome problem. In ancient times, probably the heaviest object one would encounter was a millstone. The firs...

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Mince

To walk with short or small steps in an affected or feminine manner dates from the late 16th century and derives from mince meaning to chop into small...

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Mince pies

Rhyming slang for eyes, mince pies/eyes, dates from the mid-19th century, like most rhyming slang, frequently used in the abbreviated form, e.g. feast...

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Minced oath

A minced oath is a pseudo-profanity or euphemism used in place of what might be considered profane or blasphemous language. The phrase minced oath dat...

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Mind in a spin

see Flat spin


Mind one’s Ps and Qs

In Britain, this admonishment is to mind one’s manners, whereas in America it can also mean to be alert and on top of one’s form. While the meaning is...

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Mind over matter

This well-worn phrase is a eulogy to the power of thought over material substance and first made its appearance in English during the mid-18th century...

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