A-Z Database

A-Z Database

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Sandbag someone

To sandbag someone is American slang for putting someone in dire or disastrous circumstances. This figurative meaning dates from the late 19th century...

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Sands of time

The allusion is to the hourglass filled with sand by which time used to be measured. The history of the hourglass is obscure. Some say it dates back t...

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Sandwich

The ubiquitous food snack comprising slices of bread between which a variety of fillings are placed is named after John Montagu, the 4th Earl of Sandw...

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Sap

Meaning a fool or simpleton is from the early 19th century and is short for the older and now obsolete expressions ‘sap-skull’ and ‘sap-head’, which d...

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Sapper

Literally, a sapper is one who digs a sap, which is a trench or tunnel. A sapper is a private in the Corps of Royal Engineers, a rank that was first i...

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Sarnie

British slang abbreviation for sandwich as in bacon sarnie dates from the 1970s, for some unknown reason, altered to ‘sarmie’ in South African English...

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Saturday

see Days of the week


Sauce for the goose is sauce for the gander

see What’s good for the goose is good for the gander


Sauce/Saucy

As a noun or adjective meaning impertinent, naughty or cheeky, it has been used figuratively in this way since the early 1500s, derives from the conce...

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Sausage and mash

Rhyming slang for cash, sausage and mash/cash, dates from c. 1870, according to Eric Partridge, and has evolved into the expression not a sausage whic...

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Sausage wallet

Slang/vulgar expression from the late 20th century for vagina. See also Hide the sausage


Save someone’s bacon/neck/skin

To save someone’s bacon is to rescue someone from harm. It dates from the mid-1600s when a side of bacon was a precious commodity in a household and w...

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Saved by the bell

This expression has come to be used figuratively as a last-minute rescue from some misfortune. Its origin is from boxing during the 19th century and h...

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Saving for a rainy day

A rainy day has been a metaphor for hard times or times of misfortune since the late 1500s. Since then, prudent people have been putting money away in...

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Say boo to a goose

see Would not say boo to a goose


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