A-Z Database

A-Z Database

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To put the mockers on someone or something is to bring them bad luck and induce failure. It appears to have originated in Australia during the early 2...

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Moderation in all things

An ancient proverb that was known to both the Greeks and Romans and probably to other ancient civilisations before them. The earliest known citation i...

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British informal for cat, first attested from c. 1911, of unknown origin.


Mojo is an African American term for a lucky charm or magic spell, and has broadly come to mean magical power that gives people confidence and control...

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Molehills into mountains

To make or turn molehills into mountains means to exaggerate minor or trifling difficulties and the metaphor dates from the 16th century.


To treat or spoil a person with excessive gentleness and care dates from the early 19th century. The coddle part is easy to understand and means to bo...

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Moment of truth

The first appearance of this phrase in English is Hemingway’s Death in the Afternoon (1932) where it describes the critical moment at the end of a bul...

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see Days of the week

Monday morning quarterback

A derogatory American expression for someone who is unfairly wise after the event; derives from American football where the quarterback position is re...

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Money burns a hole in the pocket

Means that money does not stay in the pocket very long before it is spent dates according to the OED from the mid-18th century, but the thought may be...

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Money does not grow on trees

An idiom that means money is hard to come by, as opposed to so many things that simply grow on trees in abundance, year after year. It is originally A...

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Money for jam

British expression that means money for nothing dates from the First World War when the troops were given cheap, inferior quality jam, which the troop...

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Money for old rope

Means easy money and dates from the 19th century when rope was big business in the days of sail ships. Sailors would get money for old rope that was n...

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Money is the root of all evil

Yet another quotation from the Bible, The New Testament, I Timothy 6:10, “For the love of money is the root of all evil.” Note that that the original...

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Money where your mouth is

see Put your money where your mouth is

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