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
Pure as the driven snow

This expression for purity was probably motivated by Shakespeare if not exactly coined by him. In Hamlet (c.1600) Act III, Scene I, he writes, “Be tho...

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Purler

see Pearler


Purple passage

see Purple patch


Purple patch

A purple patch has come to mean a period of extraordinary success or good fortune, often short-lived, and dates in this sense from the early 20th cent...

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Purple prose

see Purple patch


Push one's luck

Try to make too much of an opportunty, or go too far; dates from the early 20th century.


Push the boat out

To lavish or spend more than one is accustomed to, usually in celebration of special occasions. It was originally naval slang for buying a round of dr...

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Push the envelope

To push the envelope means to go beyond commonly accepted boundaries and has nothing whatsoever to do with stationery. Push the envelope is originally...

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Push the panic button

see Panic button


Push up daisies

To push up daisies is a euphemism for being dead and buried in a grave and hence ‘pushing up daisies’. Variants of the expression date from the mid-19...

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Push/push out some Z’s

see Z’s


Puss/pussy

Puss has been slang for the female pudenda since the 16th century from the allusion to something soft and furry, like a pussy-cat. Puss, pussy and pus...

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Pussyfoot around

Act cautiously and timidly as if reluctant to commit to a definite course of action, dates from the late 19th century, an Americanism that derives fro...

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Put a brave face/front on something

see Put on a brave face/front


Put a cork in it

Chiefly US informal for telling someone to stop talking or going on about something, dates from the early 1900s, from the obvious allusion to closing...

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