A-Z Database

A-Z Database

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Thumb a lift

see Hitch/hitched/hitchhike

Thumb one’s nose at

This gesture of ridicule made by placing the thumb on one’s nose and fanning the fingers is very old, although this particular expression of it is qui...

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Thumbs up/thumbs down

These expressions and/or gestures generally express approval or disapproval in English-speaking contexts and date from the 19th century. The English-s...

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This word is usually used as an intensifying adjective to describe someone or something as much bigger than normal, as in a thumping great chest of dr...

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see The Thunderer


see Days of the week


As in the tick of clock, an echoic word that dates from 1680. As in a mark or symbol signifying that something is correct dates from 1844. See also On...

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Tick all the (right) boxes

Originally a British expression that means to cover or address all possibilities or requirements. It dates from the early 21st century, from the allus...

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Ticked off

In the sense of annoyed or angry is American and dates from the 1960s, now generally used throughout the English-speaking world. See also Ticking off.


see Just the ticket


Tickets is South African informal for the end or demise of someone, as in 'the truck went out of control and it was tickets for the driver'. South Afr...

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A British slang word for satisfactory, all in order or OK, which Eric Partridge maintains is RAF slang from c. 1930, but the origin remains obscure.

Ticking off

In the sense of a reprimand or a telling off is British military slang and dates from the First World War.

Tickle the ivories

Play the piano dates from the early 20th century. Ivories is also slang for teeth since the late 18th century.

Tickled pink

This expression derives from tickled meaning pleased or delighted, which dates from the 16th century. Shakespeare used the expression in Coriolanus Ac...

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