A-Z Database

A-Z Database

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Tall story/tale

Unbelievable or exaggerated account of something dates from the 19th century. Tall words were big or exaggerated words and this usage dates from the l...

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Tall, dark and handsome

Clichéd description for an attractive man, and is first cited from the mid-19th century, but it is not known who coined the expression. See also high,...

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Tam o’Shanter

A soft woollen beret or cap, with a central bobble on top, with a circumference about twice that of the head, as formerly worn by Scottish ploughmen a...

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Tan someone’s hide

Tan meaning to convert animal skin into leather by using an infusion of oak-bark dates from early Anglo-Saxon times. The word tan derives from the Lat...

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This word can mean all sorts of things depending on the context, particularly in America. However, tank as in the military vehicle, is of British orig...

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Tank up

Originally, an American expression meaning to fill up with petrol, gasoline etc but also to fill up greedily with food and/or drink, dates from the la...

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US slang for drunk or inebriated dates from 1893.


British slang for sixpence since the very early 19th century. The OED maintains the origin is unknown but some source say it derives from the Romany w...

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see Tan someone’s hide

Tap tackle

see Ankle tap


The plural is tapas. Tapas is the Spanish word for a variety of savoury snacks served as hors d’oeuvres, usually accompanied with a glass of wine. The...

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see Jack tar

Tarred with the same brush

A metaphor for being found guilty of the same misdeeds of another, especially unjustly, that dates from the early 19th century. The origin is the figu...

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Originally, from the mid-19th century, a term of endearment for a girl or woman, deriving from jam tart, rhyming slang for sweetheart, jam tart/sweeth...

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Taste of one’s own medicine

see Dose/taste of one’s own medicine

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