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
Put a damper on

The figurative expression to put a damper on something, meaning to suppress an initiative or impede progress dates from the mid-19th century. A damper...

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Put a lid/cover on something

see blow the lid/cover off something


Put a nail in someone’s coffin

To put or hammer a nail, or sometimes the final nail, in someone’s coffin, is to bring that person close to disaster, defeat, and sometimes even death...

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Put a sock in it

The charming story of putting socks into the loudspeaker tubes of old gramophones because they did not have volume controls has been exposed as folk e...

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Put a spoke in the wheel

see Spoke in the wheel


Put a toe in the water

see Dip one’s toe/toes in the water


Put all one’s eggs in one basket

see Eggs in one basket


Put away childish things

Often said in admonishment to someone who is behaving in a childlike manner or who needs to grow up. The source is St Paul in his letter to Corinthian...

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Put fire in one’s belly

see Fire in one’s belly


Put flesh on the bones of something

Expressions like ‘put or add flesh or meat’ to something mean to add more details in order to get a fuller, more complete understanding of something o...

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Put foot

South African informal for hurry up, get a move on, perhaps from the allusion to accelerator pedal in a car, dates from the 1950s.


Put meat on the bones of something

see Put flesh on the bones of something


Put on a brave face/ front

Show outward resolve and courage despite inner misgivings, dates from the mid-19th century.


Put on airs and graces

see Airs and graces


Put on one’s thinking cap

see Thinking cap


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