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
Tough luck

North American version of hard luck dates from the early 20th century.


Tough shit

Vulgar version of tough luck dates from WWII.


Tough titty

British vulgar version of the American tough luck dates from the 1970s.


Tough/hard nut to crack

A commonplace metaphor for a difficult problem to solve or a difficult situation to overcome; dates from the early 1700s.


Tower of strength

This familiar metaphor for physical and/or moral fortitude was coined in 1591 by Shakespeare in Richard III, Act V, Scene III, “the king’s name is a t...

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Toy boy

Colloquial expression for a young lover, usually of an older woman, dates from the 1980s.


Tracer bullet

see Like a tracer bullet


Trade wind

Some people misconstrue the meaning of trade wind as a wind that facilitates trade as in commerce. First attested from the mid-17th century, trade win...

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Trailblazer

see Blaze a trail


Trailer, movie

An excerpt from a forthcoming feature film is called a trailer because in the early days of the cinema there were always two movie pictures shown: the...

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Trashed

Intoxicated, drunk, an American slang expression that dates from the late 1920s. Trashed meaning destroyed or libelled in the press dates from the 197...

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Treacle tart

Rhyming slang for fart, treacle tart/fart, dates from the 1920s. More recently, from the late 20th century, it is also rhyming slang for sweetheart, t...

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Tread on someone’s toes

To offend or encroach on someone else’s affairs is a very old expression and dates in this sense from the late 14th century, from the obvious allusion...

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Treading on thin ice

see Skating/treading/walking on thin ice


Treading/walking on eggs or eggshells

This expression means to be extremely cautious in one’s actions or words, especially to avoid offending others. It started out as ‘walking on eggs’ an...

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