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
Stiff upper lip

This expression has become so definitive of the British phlegmatic character, especially the British military that it comes as a surprise to find that...

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Still small voice

see A still small voice


Still waters run deep

This appears to be a very old proverb, possibly from Greek or Roman times, which also appears in Medieval Latin during the 1400s where it was already...

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Sting

A confidence trick designed to cheat or rob someone, slang that dates from the early 19th century, c.1812 according to the OED.


Sting in the tail

A sting in the tail is a metaphor for an unpleasant, problematic and generally unforeseen ending and dates from the early 18th century from the obviou...

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Stinker

General term of abuse for anything obnoxious or objectionable dates from the early 1600s. Stinker, in the sense of a tough question, in exams etc, dat...

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Stinking rich

Extremely and offensively wealthy; this is the American version of filthy rich. It is first cited in America from the 1920s.


Stir up a hornet’s nest

This metaphor dates from the early 1700s and means to cause trouble, from the obvious allusion to disturbing a nest of stinging hornets and provoking...

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Stitch in time saves nine

An old proverb that advises timely action to avoid more work later, dates in English in these exact words from the early 18th century. The concept beh...

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Stitch up

To stitch up someone, used as both verb and noun, means to incriminate, blame or set someone up for something they have not done. It was originally an...

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Stitch/Stitches (of laughter)

Since the 12th century, the word stitch has enjoyed several meanings. Firstly, it means a stab or prick with a sharp instrument, such as a needle or d...

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Stoked

Fired up, excited, US surfer slang from c. 1963.


Stomach

To stomach or have the stomach for something means to have the ability and wherewithal to persist or succeed in some difficult task or assignment and...

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Stone blind

see Cold as stone


Stone cold

see Cold as stone


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