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

This very old expression has two different but related meanings. The first meaning is ‘with or against one’s will’ and the second is ‘in an unplanned...

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American expression for a weak, ineffectual, timid person dates from the 1970s, origin unknown, perhaps an abbreviation of whimper - the sound such a...

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Win by a street

see Streets ahead

Win friends and influence people

see How to win friends and influence people

Win hands down

see Hands down

Win one’s spurs

To win one’s spurs is to pass the test, to be elevated in position or rank and dates in this sense from the 1600s. It derives from the literal award o...

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Win, lose or draw

This is originally an American expression that has come to mean ‘whatever the outcome’, for the simple reason that in any pursuit or course of action,...

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Wind and piss

see All wind and piss

Wind out of one’s sails

see Taken aback

Wind someone up

To wind someone up is British informal to tease or provoke someone. It dates from the 1970s and the allusion is to a clockwork toy over which one has...

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Wind up

see Get/put the wind up

Wind your neck back in

This expression can mean slightly different things depending on the context – from not to rubberneck or stare, to not to take a risk (the opposite of...

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A term of contempt for a voluble, over-talkative person, dates from the early 19th century. See also Gasbag.

Window of opportunity

An opening to accomplish something or achieve an objective, dates from the 1970s and is of American origin. During the 1960s, NASA established the phr...

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Windy meaning flatulent, long-winded or verbose dates from the 14th century. Windy meaning to be in a funk, dates from the early 20th century. See als...

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