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
Surfing the Internet

This common and well-known expression that means browsing or searching for information on the Internet was coined by an American librarian at the Univ...

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Surrey glide

see Chinese cut


Suss

Suss as in to suss something out or to have something sussed, derives from an abbreviation of the word suspect. It was originally underworld/police sl...

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Swallow does not make a summer

see One swallow does not make a summer


Swan song

The fable that swans sing shortly before their death is extremely ancient. Plato (c.428-438 BC) makes mention of it in his Dialogues, as does Chaucer...

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Swannee

see Down/up the swannee


Swashbuckling

These days, it is an adjective mostly used to describe a genre of action-adventure films involving period costume and sword fighting. The films of Dou...

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SWAT

SWAT is an acronym for Special Weapons and Tactics. SWAT teams are elite paramilitary units employed by US law enforcement departments. The first SWAT...

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Swear blind

To swear blind is first cited from the early 20th century and means to swear that something is true, emphatically and vehemently. Blind here is used a...

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Swear like a trooper

To use bad language excessively; dates from the early 18th century. Cavalrymen, especially non-commissioned troopers, were notorious for their coarse...

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Sweat blood

To sweat or exert oneself to the extremity, dates from the late 19th century.


Sweat bullets

To sweat profusely with heavy beads of sweat, which resemble bullets; a metaphor dating from the early 20th century.


Sweater

The garment dates from the late 19th century, so-called because it was worn after sweating from sports or exercise to prevent cold. See also jersey an...

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Sweeney

‘The Sweeney’ is British rhyming slang for the London Metropolitan Police Flying Squad, a specialised fast-reaction police unit, Sweeney Todd/Flying S...

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Sweep something under the carpet/rug

To conceal something, especially something you have done wrong dates from the mid-20th century. Carpet is more often used in Britain, while rug is mor...

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