A-Z Database

A-Z Database

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Pinking shears/scissors

The verb to pink meaning to stab, pierce or prick dates from the 14th century and comes from the Latin pungere meaning the same thing. Hence, pinking...

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Pinko is slang for someone with socialist or left wing views but not red enough to be called a Communist. The word dates from the 1930s.


The pip of a fruit, as in orange or apple pip, is an abbreviation of the 14th century word pippin. According to the OED, the abbreviation is first cit...

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A salutary British greeting dates from the very early 20th century and can mean hello or goodbye depending on the context. There are two theories abou...

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Pipe down

A request or order to be quiet dates from the mid-19th century and derives from the earlier naval custom of using shrill pipes to dismiss sailors belo...

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Pipe dream

A pipe dream is an unattainable hope or fantasy and is first cited in America from the late 19th century. The allusion is to the delusions or euphoria...

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Piping hot

Very hot, usually describes food, dates from at least the 14th century when Chaucer used the phrase piping hot to describe waffles taken straight from...

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Pipped at/on the post

The OED gives pip in this sense as dialectical or slang dating from the late 19th century meaning, to defeat or beat an opponent, but adds that the or...

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Piss as a verb meaning to urinate or as a noun meaning urine, dates from at least the 1300s and derives from the Old French pisser to urinate. The ety...

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Piss against the wind

Waste one’s time or to be ineffectual, dates from the 1600s.

Piss and vinegar

see Full of piss and vinegar

Piss and wind

see All wind and piss

Piss away

To waste or squander dates from the 1600s.

Piss off

Slang for go away, dates from c.1946.

Piss or get off the pot

see Shit or get off the pot

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