A-Z Database

A-Z Database

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Two left feet

This expression illustrates the ancient and traditional prejudice to all things left. Logically, two right feet would be just as awkward as two left f...

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Two peas in a pod

Means closely similar, almost exactly alike, and dates from the 16th century, from the fact that two peas from the same pod are virtually indistinguis...

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Two shakes of a lamb’s tail

Often shortened to ‘two shakes’, as in “I’ll be with you in two shakes”, means “I’ll be with you in a very short while.” The earliest citation appears...

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Two short of a six-pack

Mentally deficient, dates from the late 20th/early 21st century, Australian origin and refers to a six-pack of beer. See also Not the full shilling.

Two sides of the same coin

Means that two things that appear to be different are in fact closely related. For example, poor health and low income are different issues but often...

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Two sides to every story

Simply means there are often two different versions of ostensibly the same event. The expression dates in this format from the mid-18th century but th...

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Two strings to one’s bow

see Another string to one’s bow

Two ticks

"I'll be with you in two ticks" means that I will be with you very shortly. 'Two ticks' refers to two clicks of a clock i.e. two seconds. Tick, as in...

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Two to tango

It takes two to tango is a metaphor that is widely used in business, political and social contexts to mean that two parties have to co-operate and som...

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Two wrongs don’t make a right

An informal proverb used to discourage retaliation or reciprocation, in that a wrongful action is not a practical or morally appropriate way to correc...

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When used as an adjective, as in 'a two-bit actor', it is a derogatory idiom that means something of very little worth or value. This usage dates from...

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Two-edged sword

see Double-edged sword


Deceitful, insincere, dishonest i.e. having two faces, one for the truth the other for deceit, dates from the early 1600s.


To two-time is a verb that means to cheat, to betray, or to deceive, sometimes in a romantic or sexual context. It is of American origin and is freque...

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Two’s company, three’s a crowd

This was already a proverbial saying by the late 1500s and was originally indicative of lovers wishing to be on their own.

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