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 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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Takes two to tango

see Two to tango

Taking candy from a baby

Something that is very easy to do, an American colloquialism dates from the early 20th century.


British slang from c.1930 that describes attractive, potential sexual partners; first usage was primarily by men but these days also used by women to...

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Talk is cheap

Meaning that words require very little effort in contrast to positive action, dates from the late 19th century.

Talk of the devil

see Speak of the devil

Talk rot

see Rot

Talk shop

To talk shop means to talk business, especially when brought unreasonably into the conversation, and dates in this sense from the early 19th century,...

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Talk the hind leg/legs off a donkey

To talk volubly or excessively dates from the early 19th century but first appears in Cobbett’s Weekly in 1808, an American publication, as ‘talking a...

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Talk through one’s hat

Talk twaddle or nonsense but with an air of implied knowledge, American colloquial expression that dates from the late 19th century.

Talk turkey

This classic American idiom means to talk plainly and bluntly, to get down to business, and dates from the early 19th century. The origin remains obsc...

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Talk until the cows come home

see Until the cows come home

Tall oaks from little acorns grow

An anonymous proverb from Roman times and probably before that, which means great things start from small beginnings. The original Latin version is pa...

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Tall poppy syndrome

Tall poppy syndrome is the calculated policy of attacking and destroying people of genuine talent for one‘s own ends. It is associated with Australian...

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