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
Mind your P's and Q's

see Mind one's P's and Q's


Mind-blowing

A phrase describing something stupendous and wonderful made popular in America and elsewhere during the 1960s deriving from drug culture. A more recen...

Read More


Mind-boggling

Mind boggling and its sister expression the mind boggles derive from the 16th century meaning of boggle meaning to alarm or frighten. We get the words...

Read More


Mind’s eye

Shakespeare’s famous metaphor for the ability to imagine, visualise or remember something was coined in Hamlet Act I, Scene II, “In my mind’s eye, Hor...

Read More


Mine of information

According to the OED, the figurative use of the word mine to mean a source of abundant supply dates from 1541, but no citation is given for mine of in...

Read More


Minge

British slang for female genitalia dates from the 19th century, thought to be of Romany origin. It re-gained popularity as an expression from the 1950...

Read More


Mint condition

As new, or like new, first cited from the early 20th century from the allusion to a newly minted coin. A postage stamp in mint condition means unused...

Read More


Miranda rights

In US law the Miranda rights are the legal requirements of reading the rights to a suspect before arrest and custody. They start with ‘you have the ri...

Read More


Mish-mash

A hodge-podge, a medley or jumble, dates from the mid-1400s, a reduplication of mash, which is an even older word for a mixture and, more latterly fro...

Read More


Miss a trick

This expression is usually used in the negative i.e. a person who never misses a trick is someone who is never fooled by trickery. The expression date...

Read More


Miss as good as a mile

A miss is as good as a mile means that a miss, whether a narrow one or one a mile away, amounts to the same thing i.e. a miss is a miss no matter by h...

Read More


Miss the boat

To miss the boat is to miss an opportunity, miss the point or meaning or to be late for something and dates from the early 20th century when sea trave...

Read More


Miss the bus

When used figuratively it means to miss an opportunity and it took on this figurative meaning in the first decade of the 20th century. Neville Chamber...

Read More


Moaning Minnie

All the evidence points to British slang for an air raid siren and then army slang for the German Nebelwerfer Mortar, both from WWII. (It was never, a...

Read More


Mob/mobster

Mob is of course a common English word for an unruly crowd or rabble, the word dating from the 17th century. In the sense of organised crime or the ma...

Read More


back to top