A-Z Database

A-Z Database

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Not best pleased

British understatement that expresses annoyance or irritation; dates from the mid-18th century and still enjoys popularity.


Not by a long chalk

This expression dating from the early 19th century means not by any means or not at all and is sometimes used in the context of a contest. Its origin...

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Not by a long shot

This expression has a similar meaning to not by a long chalk but its origin is from archery or shooting and therefore is much older, from at least the...

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Not by any stretch of the imagination

see By any (or not by any) stretch of the imagination


Not enough room to swing a cat

see Swing a cat


Not for all the tea in China

This means not at any price. The most populous nation on earth produces and drinks an awful lot of tea. Therefore, to decline something for all the te...

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Not for toffee

see Toffee


Not give a fig

In expressions like ‘couldn’t give a fig’ or ‘not giving a fig’, the word fig is not, as often supposed, a euphemism for the f word. Since late mediev...

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Not give a flying fuck

Not give a flying fuck expresses extreme indifference to whatever might be under consideration. There are two theories about its origin and both are v...

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Not give a monkey’s

The expression not give a monkey’s is a more refined way of saying 'not give a damn' or 'not give a fuck' meaning that someone just doesn’t care about...

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Not give a rat's arse/ass

Meaning not to care in the slightest about the issue under consideration, is originally American from c. 1950, presumably because a rat’s arse is insi...

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Not give or not worth a continental

The original expression was that something or other was not worth a Continental Dollar. The expression was first coined during the American War of Ind...

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Not give someone the time of day

To give someone the time of day is to greet or exchange salutations and dates from the 1500s. These days it is more usually expressed in the negative...

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Not half!

Exclamation of approbation or enthusiasm that is certainly not half-hearted, dates from c. 1905 and is thought to be of London Cockney origin.


Not have the stomach for something

see Stomach


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