A-Z Database

A-Z Database

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Stupid boy

Captain Mainwaring, played by Arthur Lowe, used this catchphrase to castigate young Pike, one of his Home Guard retinue, in almost every episode of th...

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Suck the hind tit

To suck the hind tit is to get the worst of a situation and is American from the early 20th century, from the allusion to the runt in a litter that al...

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Suck up to

To suck up to someone means to ingratiate oneself and is schoolboy slang from the mid-19th century. Some sources maintain its origin is linked to suck...

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The original meaning is a young mammal before it is weaned dates from The Middle Ages. As in the figurative sense of someone who is easily deceived, p...

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see Suck the hind tit

Suffer fools gladly

see Not suffer fools gladly

Suffer in silence

“Great souls suffer in silence” is from the play Don Carlos by Schiller written in 1787. The OED, however, dates the expression in English from only t...

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Suffer little children

The actual quotation is “suffer the little children to come unto me” from the New Testament Mark 10:14 from the late medieval sense of suffer meaning...

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Suffer the slings and arrows of misfortune

Shakespeare’s famous metaphor for the downside of life is part of Hamlet’s even more famous soliloquy, to be or not to be from Hamlet (c.1600) Act III...

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Sugar daddy

An older man who spends money on younger women in return for sex/companionship dates from the early 20th century and is American in origin. The allusi...

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Sun is over the yardarm

Sun is over the yard arm is a British expression dating from the late 19th century that means it is time for the first alcoholic drink of the day. The...

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see Days of the week

Sunday best

One’s very best clothes, so-called because they were worn to church on a Sunday, dates from the early 1600s.

Sunday punch

A Sunday punch is a boxer’s very best punch, usually a knockout blow, and dates from c. 1915 and probably derives from Sunday best in the sense of sav...

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Surf n’Turf

An American idiom from the 1960s and still in use today that describes a fairly downmarket type of cuisine, usually associated with steakhouses, where...

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