A-Z Database

A-Z Database

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Uphill battle/struggle

An arduous task involving prolonged effort, dates from the 1600s, although to give someone uphill, meaning to give them a hard time, is much newer fro...

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Upper crust

Upper crust, a metaphor for the aristocracy or higher echelons of society dates from the early 19th century c. 1820. The notion that it derives from t...

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Self-important; arrogant.


see Oops!

Upset the apple cart

Disrupt something that was going well, an Americanism dates from the late 18th century.


Upshot means the conclusion or result of some course of action or discourse and derives its origin from medieval shooting contests, firstly from arche...

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To over-shadow or out-perform someone dates from the turn of the late 19th/early 20th century and derives from the theatre where an actor moves upstag...

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Urban legend

An urban legend is a contemporary story, generally untrue, which gains wide popularity. The expression dates from the 1960s. Other synonyms are urban...

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Use one’s loaf

British informal, usually an admonishment, to use one’s common sense dates from the early 20th century and derives from earlier (late 19th century) rh...

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Use one’s noggin

see Noggin

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