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

In British usage since the very early 20th century and describes a mean, miserly person. In America, the meaning is slightly different and means a pru...

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Tighten one’s belt

This figurative expression meaning to curtail one’s expenditure or endure hardship stoically dates from the early 20th century from the obvious allusi...

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Tighten/turn the screws

see Put the screws on

Till the cows come home

see Until the cows come home

Tilting at windmills

Means wasting time and effort with imaginary obstacles and first appears in the form of ‘fighting with windmills’ from the mid-17th century. The expre...

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Time (as a river)

see River of time

Time and tide wait for no man

This is an ancient proverb meaning that man has no control over time or the tidal movements of the world’s oceans, and as such it has existed in many...

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Time heals all wounds

This ancient proverb is attributed to the roman poet Terence (c. 190-159 BC), who wrote in Latin, Diem adimere aegritudinem hominibus which means lite...

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Time immemorial

Time immemorial simply means so long ago that it is beyond memory or record. (It is one of the very few phrases in English where the adjective appears...

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Time is a river

see River of time

Time is money

This well-known expression was coined by Benjamin Franklin in 1748 in his work Advice to a Young Tradesman, “Remember that time is money.”

Time is of the essence

In this context, the phrase ‘of the essence’ means extremely important. Bartlett’s Familiar Quotations maintains the saying itself is anonymous and do...

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Time to kill

This expression, in the sense of having excess time at one’s disposal, dates from the late 18th century.

Time will tell

This is a very old aphorism, probably coined by Euripides (485-406 BC) in Aeolus when he wrote, “Time will explain it all.”

Tin Pan Alley

Those wishing to show off can say at the next opportunity that Tin Pan Alley is a synecdochism i.e. a grammatical term where a place name becomes syno...

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