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

First cited in 1904, scrumpy is West Country dialect for rough, homebrewed cider. The same dialect word also denotes a small, overripe apple from whic...

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Scuba diving

Underwater swimming and diving using oxygen tanks. Scuba is an acronym for self-contained underwater breathing apparatus and is first recorded from 19...

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Scum/scum of the earth

A very old word from the 13th century meaning a thin layer of foam or froth that forms on top of a liquid. From there it evolved into a thin layer of...

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US slang for condom dates from the 1960s and also US slang for a despicable person dates from the 1970s.


In the sense of wrecked or ruined, e.g. ‘my plans were scuppered’ dates from the late 19th/early 20th century and derives from earlier military slang...

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Mainly a US expression meaning gossip or idle chatter; dates in this sense from the late 19th/early 20th century. Originally, from the late 18th/early...

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Describes a fundamental, major or considerable change and dates from the 16th century, coined by Shakespeare in The Tempest (1610) where Shakespeare d...

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see Navy SEALs

Search me

An American expression from the late 19th/early 20th century used to imply that the speaker has no knowledge of some fact or no idea what course to ta...

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Second bite at/of the cherry/apple

see Another bite at/of the cherry/apple

Second fiddle

see Play second fiddle

Second nature

A habit or characteristic not exactly innate but so long practised or acquired that it seems so, dates from the 14th century and is an abbreviation of...

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Second string to one’s bow

see Another string to one’s bow

See a man about a dog

This expression dates from the mid-19th century and is a euphemism for whatever a man has in mind to do without being explicit. In America it is somet...

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See Corner

Fanzine is a portmanteau word (from fan and magazine) which describes an unofficial publication produced by supporters or followers of a particular cu...

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