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
Niagara Falls

Rhyming slang for balls as in testicles, Niagara Falls/balls dates from original working class roots in the 1950s but in the late 20th/early 21st cent...

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Nibs

see His nibs


Nice as pie

An American expression for niceness dates from the 1930s, from the allusion to apple pie, which has long been an American symbol for niceness and home...

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Nice to see you, to see you, nice

This was British comedian and TV host, Bruce Forsyth’s catchphrase, which was established in Britain by the mid-1970s, when he hosted the BBC (Britis...

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Nice try but no cigar

see Close, but no cigar


Nick

In the sense of to steal is British slang from the mid-19th century, whereas nicked meaning to be arrested by the police is earlier from the late 18th...

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Nick of time

see In the nick of time


Nickel and dime

To nickel and dime someone is to hinder, annoy or harass someone with trivialities and non-essentials, obviously an American expression, which dates f...

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Nickname

An alternative name, dates from the 1400s and before then was originally an ‘eke name’ meaning an ‘also name’, which through elision or the sliding to...

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Nifty

Surprisingly, this slang adjective meaning smart, fashionable, in a somewhat blatant sense, is of American origin from the mid-19th century and only b...

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Nigerian lager

British jocular slang for Guinness, partly because of its colour but also because of Nigerian predilection for the drink, dates from the 1990s.


Nigger

Now classified as the n-word because it is considered too offensive to use in public but from the late 18th century it was used freely to refer to any...

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Nigger in the woodpile

Rarely heard in these days of political correctness, it means a catch or a problem, much the same as a spanner in the works. Originally an American ex...

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Night on the tiles

A long night of revelry and debauchery, this British expression dates from the late 19th/early 20th century and alludes to the habits of domestic cats...

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Nightmare

This word for a bad dream or a situation that resembles a bad dream dates from the 16th century and has nothing to do with female horses. Its literal...

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