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
One man’s meat is another man’s poison

What is good for one may not be necessarily so for another, dates in English from the 1500s but is an ancient saying that appears in Latin in the work...

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One of life’s little ironies

see Life’s little ironies

One over the eight

Intoxicated having had one drink too many is British military slang that dates from the 1920s and refers to eights pints of beer, which today seems a...

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One picture is worth more than a thousand words

see Picture is worth more than a thousand words

One swallow does not make a summer

An ancient proverb, attributed to Aristotle (384-322 BC) that expounds the basic principle of induction, namely that one cannot infer a general rule f...

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One-armed bandit

US slang for a gambling slot machine, dates from the 1930s. The machine always wins and robs more people than it rewards.

One-eyed trouser snake

see Trouser snake

One-horse race

A contest where one entrant or competitor wins easily, and is so superior as if no other entrants or competitors were taking part. The expression is f...

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One-horse town

A very small town of little or no interest, an Americanism that dates from the mid-19th century.

One-night stand

A performance for one night only. In its original theatrical sense, the expression dates from the mid-18th century, in its sexual sense, it dates from...

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One-up, one-upmanship

To be one up is to be ahead of one’s rivals and derives of course from sports where numbers denote scores. Thus, one could be one goal up in football,...

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Onion bag

British slang for the goals used in Association Football, from the allusion that the netting behind the goal resembles the bags typically used for oni...

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see Know your onions


This strange word is American slang for lots of something and dates from the latter half of the 19th century, origin unknown, perhaps from the whole c...

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These are both nonsense words used to describe things for which one cannot remember the name, like whatyoumacallit. They date from the early 20th cent...

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