A-Z Database

A-Z Database

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Put something on the back burner

see Keep something on the back burner

Put that in your pipe and smoke it

This quaint American expression dates from the early 19th century and is simply a more expressive way of saying ‘take that’ or ‘ponder that’ usually a...

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Put the cart before the horse

see Cart before the horse

Put the hammer down

To put or drop the hammer down, sometimes with the word ‘down’ omitted, has come to mean to exert maximum pressure or attention to some task or other....

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Put the icing on the cake

see Ice the cake

Put the mockers on something or someone

see Mockers

Put the screws on

To exert pressure, to coerce, especially in the sense of extracting a confession or information, dates from the 1600s and derives from thumbscrews, in...

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Put the wood on/over someone

see Have the wood on/over someone

Put through the mill

see Go through the mill

Put through the wringer

To put someone through the wringer is to give them a hard time, dates from the early 20th century and derives from the old-fashioned habit of putting...

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Put to the sword

Obviously, its literal, original meaning of slaughter is very old, from at least medieval times, if not before. Its current figurative meaning, to def...

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Put up or shut up

Put up or shut up is a forceful way of saying provide some fresh evidence or facts or withdraw from the debate. The expression is American in origin f...

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Put up your dukes

see Dukes/duke it out

Put your money where your mouth is

Be prepared to back up the validity of one’s statements with appropriate action or a money wager to the same effect, is first cited in America from th...

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Put your shoulder to the wheel

This expression meaning to make an effort derives from Aesop’s Fables c.550 BC in the fable of Hercules and the Wagoner where after his wagon gets stu...

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