A-Z Database

A-Z Database

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Treat someone with kid gloves

To treat or handle someone with kid gloves is to treat them with the utmost gentleness and care and the expression dates in this sense from the early...

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When used today, triage denotes a highly skilled medical and surgical practice involved in the sorting of disaster or accident victims into various ca...

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see In a trice

Trick up one’s sleeve

see Up one’s sleeve

Tricks of the trade

Special ingenious techniques used in a profession or craft, especially those not generally known to outsiders, dates from the late 19th century.

Trip the light fantastic

Although the expression is used less and less these days, it was once a popular expression when ballroom was the principal form of dancing. 'Trip the...

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see Off one’s rocker/trolley


These days, calling someone a trooper or behaving like a trooper is generally complimentary, except, of course, if someone happens to be swearing like...

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Trouble and strife

Trouble and strife is British jocular rhyming slang for one’s wife, trouble and strife/wife, dates from the early 20th century. See also Duchess of Fi...

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Trouser snake

Australian slang for penis dates from the mid-20th century, sometimes appears as one-eyed trouser snake, for obvious reasons.

True as Bob

This expression is a euphemism for true as God and dates from the early 20th century.

True blue

True blue has become a metaphor for loyal and steadfast without any connection to the colour blue per se. True blue dates in this sense of being loyal...

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True colours

To show one's true colours is to reveal what one is really like, to uncover one's real character or intentions, good or bad. It derives from the days...

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As in a game of cards, the word trump is an alternative form, a corruption really, of the word ‘triumph’ and dates from the early 1500s. It derives fr...

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Why a touchdown in rugby is called a try goes back to when the game of rugby was evolving during the 19th century. The first focus then was on the kic...

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