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
To-die-for

This popular American hyperbole dates from the late 20th century and means that something is so amazing that it is worth dying for. For example, this...

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Toast

American slang for someone who is ruined, destroyed, in trouble, or even dead, depending on the context. It dates in this sense from the mid-1980s, fr...

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Toast, as in drink or propose a toast

see Drink/propose a toast


Toby Jug

A Toby Jug is a porcelain beer mug or jug that has a face on it usually wearing a three-cornered hat. These mugs were popular drinking vessels from th...

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Tod

To be on one’s tod means to be alone and derives from British rhyming slang, Tod Sloan/alone. It dates from around the turn of the late 19th/early 20t...

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Toddler

A child, typically 12 to 36 months old, dates from the late 18th/early 19th century, deriving from the verb to toddle, which is much older, dating fro...

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Toe the line/mark

Toe the line or toe the mark has come to mean to conform to set or agreed procedures or standards. If one did not toe the line, one would be said to b...

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Toe to toe

18th century bare-knuckle pugilists would often engage in toe-to-toe contests in which opponents would literally stand toe to toe and trade blows unti...

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Toes-up

Colloquial expression for dead and is an abbreviation of turn one’s toes up which means to die. Both expressions date from the mid-19th century.


Toff

Contrary to popular wisdom, toff, which is British informal for an upper class, wealthy person does not derive from toffee nosed. In fact, it is the o...

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Toffee

Not to be able to do something for toffee, as ‘he can’t play tennis for toffee’ is a colloquialism (the OED says slang) for incompetence and dates fro...

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Toffee-nosed

see Toff


Token

see By the same token


Tom

Tom, as in the male of species of animals and birds, as in a tom cat, dates from the late 18th century. Tom in South Africa is slang for money and der...

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Tom Mix

British rhyming slang for six, Tom Mix/six. Mostly used in the context of cricket where Tom Mix means a one-shot hit for six runs. Tom Mix (1880-1940)...

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