A-Z Database

A-Z Database

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A poof is an effeminate male homosexual and is British slang that dates from the mid-19th century, possibly from poof, an imitative vocal gesture of d...

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Pooh Bah

A Pooh Bah is a pompous, pedantic official derives from a character of the same name in the Gilbert & Sullivan operetta, Mikado (1885), made up of the...

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To pooh-pooh something is a vocal gesture of disdain or contempt dates from the late 1600s and is imitative of puffing something away and dismissing i...

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Poor as a church mouse

To be as poor as a church mouse is to be impecunious and dates from the 1600s although ‘hungry as a church mouse’ is also recorded from about the same...

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Poor carpenter/tradesman/workman always blames his tools

see Bad workman always blames his tools

Pop someone’s cherry

see Cherry

Pope’s nose

see Parson’s nose


This fine old English word for rubbish or nonsense is neither very old nor English. In fact, users of the word will be a little disturbed to learn of...

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Pork barrel

This is an American expression that describes government or state financial resources. The expression pork barrel politics is used when politicians pr...

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Pork/porkie pie/porkies

A pork pie is a lie, originally British rhyming slang, pork pie/lie. Telling ‘porkies’ means telling lies. Dates from the mid-20th century and became...

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Port, the fortified after-dinner wine is an abbreviation of Oporto, after the city in the North of Portugal and dates in English from the late 1600s....

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Portmanteau/portmanteau word

The word portmanteau dates from the 1500s derives from the French porter to carry and manteau meaning a mantle or cloak. Originally, a portmanteau was...

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Posh is a faintly derogative word for upper class and one still meets people who believe that it is an acronym for port out, starboard home relating t...

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Posh and Becks

Modern, 21st century, rhyming slang for sex, Posh and Becks/sex, from Posh Spice and David Beckham.


Means quickly at great speed and derives from the 16th century habit of writing ‘Post Haste’ on the outside of letters that had to be delivered urgent...

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