A-Z Database

A-Z Database

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see In a pickle


British slang for drunk or intoxicated dates from the early 19th century, sometimes appears as soused, soused and pickled being the same thing. It may...

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Picky means choosy or fastidious when it comes to making choices, as in pick and choose. Picky in this sense dates from the late 19th century, and is...

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Picture is worth a thousand words

This well-known expression needs no explanation of its meaning but its origin is very interesting. The earliest citation for it is in an address to th...

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Originally British slang for to urinate or pass water and dates from the late 18th/early 19th century, perhaps an unconscious blend of piss and puddle...

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As in, a piddling amount, piddling here is a perfectly respectable word that means trifling or insignificant and dates from the 1600s. As such, it has...

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Pidgin/Pidgin English

The OED gives three alternative spellings, pidgin, pigeon, and pidjin. All three refer to a form of simplified English originally spoken by Chinese do...

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Pie in the sky

An empty wish or promise, an unrealistic objective, an American expression dates from the early 20th century from the union song The Preacher and the...

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Extremely drunk or extremely tired from the wide, staring eyes of those afflicted, resembling the tops of pies, dates from the late 19th/early 20th ce...

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Piece of ass

North American slang for a woman as a sexual object, dates from the 1940s.

Piece of cake

An easily accomplished task, an American expression, dates from the 1930s, from the allusion to something that is easy to eat. Although this particula...

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Piece of one’s mind

To give someone a piece of one’s mind is to give frank, severe censure or criticism. The expression dates from latter half of the 16th century.

Piece of piss

British, vulgar variant of piece of cake, an easy, routine task, according to Eric Partridge it is RAF slang from c.1940.

Piece of the action

see Piece/slice of the pie

Piece of work

The most famous instance of this phrase is Shakespeare Hamlet Act II, Scene II, “What a piece of work is a man! How noble in reason! How infinite in f...

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