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
Shank’s pony

Shank’s pony is a jocular expression that means on foot, and dates in various forms, ‘shank’s nag’, ‘shank’s mare’ as well as ‘shank’s pony’ from the...

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Shape

Shape meaning condition i.e. in good/bad shape etc is American from the mid-19th century. See also Get into shape, lick into shape.


Shape up

Meet the required standards is American from the early 20th century.


Shape up or ship out

This expression is first attested from the mid-1950s and is originally from the US military, an order directed at troublesome personnel to conform, do...

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Share and share alike

Meaning of course to share equally. The expression originally was share and share like, which is first attested in Richard Edwards’ comedy Damon and P...

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Shazam

Some people might remember this as the name of the wizard Shazam who bestowed upon Billy Batson, a radio news reporter, the magical power to turn into...

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Sheet anchor

A sheet anchor is the largest and heaviest anchor carried by ships, especially sailing ships, and was used in an emergency, sometimes as a second or f...

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Sheila

Male Australian slang for a woman or girl dates from c. 1830. It is not derived, as many suppose, from Sheila as an Irish common or generic name for a...

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Shell out

Shell out means to disburse, pay out and somewhat surprisingly is not slang. It is a colloquialism from the late 18th/early 19th century that derives...

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Shellacking

Mainly North American and Australian slang for an overwhelming defeat dates from the late 19th century. It derives from Shellac a type of wood varnish...

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Shelta

A cryptic, secretive jargon used by tinkers, gipsies etc comprised partly of Irish, Gaelic or Romany words disguised by inversion or arbitrary alterat...

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Shemozzle

This is an expression meaning a state of chaos and utter confusion. It is thought to have originated in London’s East End in the late 19th century. It...

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Shenanigans

Deceit, mischief or trickery an Americanism that dates from c.1850. Many different theories abound as to its origin, ranging from Spanish to Irish Gae...

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Sherbet

Originally, sherbet was a cooling drink made from fruit juice and water and dates from the early 1600s. The word comes from Turkish or Arabic roots wh...

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Sherman tank

Rhyming slang for both yank and wank, Sherman tank/yank/wank dates from WWII. See also J Arthur Rank.


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