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
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...

Read More

Say boo to a goose

see Would not say boo to a goose

Say it with flowers

The slogan of the Society of American florists dates from 1917.

Say it with music

The title of a song by Irving Berlin composed in 1921.


A scallywag is a disreputable fellow, originally an American expression from the early 19th century but anglicised by the mid-1800s. Early citations g...

Read More


American slang for a fraudulent scheme or swindle dates from the 1960s and adopted across the rest of the English-speaking world during the 1970s. Its...

Read More


Scampi is the plural of scampo the Italian for shrimp or prawn. Strictly speaking, scampi should specifically refer to Dublin Bay Prawns, nephrops nor...

Read More


A scapegoat in its current, everyday usage is a person who is blamed or punished for the wrongdoings of others and first makes its appearance in this...

Read More

Scare the living daylights out of someone

see Beat/scare the living daylights out of someone

Scared out of one’s wits

see Out of one’s wits

Scared shitless

see Shitless


An unduly fearful person; children’s slang from c. 1930.

Scarlet woman

A scarlet woman is a sexually promiscuous harlot and the expression has been in use since the late 16th century. The source is the New Testament where...

Read More


British Slang meaning to run off or run away. There are two theories about its origin. One is rhyming slang Scapa Flow/go. Scapa Flow is a remote Roya...

Read More


US slang for go away dates from the mid-19th century, an abbreviation of scatter.

back to top