A-Z Database

A-Z Database

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Toss/toss off

As in ‘not give a toss’ meaning could not give a damn, derives from the vulgar slang meaning of toss or toss off, meaning to masturbate. The up and do...

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Tosser

Although tosser derives from the vulgar slang toss or toss off meaning to masturbate, and therefore dates back to the early 18th century, the word tos...

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Tosspot

Originally, this word dates back to the late 16th century and means someone who tosses off his pot of ale i.e. it meant a heavy drinker. These days, h...

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Totty/tottie

British slang for attractive, available females. The word originally dates from the 1880s when it was used as slang for whores. Today, the word has lo...

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Totus porcus

Jocular, fake or cod Latin for the whole hog dates from the late 19th century.


Touch

To touch a person for money, i.e. to obtain money from them, dates from the mid-18th century. A soft touch, an easy target from which to obtain money,...

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Touch base

To touch base is make contact with someone and is one of many ‘base’ idioms that all derive from baseball in America where touching base is very much...

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Touch of the tar brush

Derogatory British expression for a person of mixed race, who is partly black and dates from the late 18th century. Derives from the tar brush used by...

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Touch with a barge pole

see Not touch with a barge pole


Touch with a ten foot pole

see Not touch with a barge pole


Touch-and-go

Originally, from the early 17th century, this expression meant doing something instantly or quickly. Dating from this same era, touch-and-go was also...

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Touch/touching wood

Touching wood is a ritual or superstition for either bringing good luck or warding off bad luck. Despite etymological attempts to link it to the woode...

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Touched

Touched as in the sense of stirred emotionally dates from the 1300s. Touched as in slightly deranged, in the sense that someone has a touch of madness...

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Tough as old boots

A simile for toughness or durability that is often applied to food (meat) as well as people and has largely replaced the earlier expression tough as l...

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Tough day at the office

This expression was probably once a literal reference to a troublesome, stressful day at one’s office of work but it was soon adopted as a figurative...

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