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
Turn one’s face to the wall

A euphemism for to die and is recorded in the Bible in Kings II 20:2 “Then he turned his face to wall” and again in Isaiah 38:2.


Turn one’s toes up

see Toes-up


Turn over a new leaf

To turn over a new leaf means to mend one’s ways and dates from the late 16th century. It uses the act of turning to a new leaf or page in a book as a...

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Turn swords into ploughshares

see Swords into ploughshares


Turn tail

To flee or run away, dates from the late 16th century.


Turn the corner

To turn the corner is to pass through some difficulty and get into a stronger, safer position and dates in this sense from the early 19th century. It...

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Turn the other cheek

This expression from the New Testament means to accept a wrongdoing without seeking retribution, in contrast with the eye for an eye spirit of the Old...

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Turn the screws

see Put the screws on


Turn the tables

To turn the tables means to reverse the position against adversaries or opponents during a contest and so get the upper hand. The expression dates in...

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Turn turtle

To turn turtle is to turn upside down, chiefly used for boats but also motor vehicles etc. The expression derives from the helplessness of a marine tu...

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Turn up one’s nose (at something or someone)

To turn one’s nose up is to express contempt, derision or rejection and derives from the allusion of turning one’s nose away from a bad smell under it...

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Turn up trumps

see Come up or turn up trumps


Turn-up for the book/books

A turn up for the book is something completely unexpected and surprising and dates from the 1930s. It derives from horseracing where the book is the b...

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Turncoat

This expression dates from the 16th century and describes someone who switches allegiances and goes over to the opposition. This was indicated by lite...

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Twaddle

Meaning foolish or idle chatter dates from the late 18th century. It derives from earlier and now archaic words like twattle and twittle where a twatt...

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