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
Take something out of the equation

see Out of the equation


Take somone to the cleaners

see Take to the cleaners


Take the biscuit/cake

To take the biscuit or cake means to carry off the honours or the prize, and is sometimes said or used with a touch of surprise or incredulity. It dat...

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Take the bit between one’s teeth

see Bit between the teeth


Take the bull by the horns

Deal with a daunting situation decisively by taking the matter head on. There seem to be two schools of thought about its origin. Some sources maintai...

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Take the gilt off the gingerbread

To the gilt off the gingerbread means to spoil the illusion or to rob something of its attraction. It dates from the early 19th century and derives fr...

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Take the Mickey

To take the mickey or to mickey-take is to ridicule or make fun of someone and it derives from rhyming slang, Mickey Bliss/piss, where to take the pis...

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Take the piss

To make fun of or ridicule someone and dates from the early 20th century. Piss meaning to urinate had been a respectable everyday word since at least...

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Take the wind out of someone’s sails

see Taken aback


Take the world by storm

Various people have been taking the world by storm since the late 19th century, when this figurative usage first appeared. 'Taking by storm' i.e. a vi...

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Take to something like a duck to water

see Like a duck to water


Take to the cleaners

Cause someone to lose all his or her money. This expression has enjoyed a fresh lease of life since the 1930s with the advent of dry-cleaning establis...

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Take up or throw down the gauntlet

Meaning to issue or take up a challenge and dates from the 1500s in its original literal sense of either accepting or issuing a single-combat challeng...

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Take up the gauntlet

see Take up or throw down the gauntlet


Taken aback

Originally, this was a nautical term dating from the late 1600s, and possibly before, for when a sudden gust of wind came from straight ahead would se...

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