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
Witch hunt

Witch hunts in the literal sense went on from the Early Middle Ages to the 1700s. Today of course, the expression is only used metaphorically as a per...

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With a pinch of salt

see Pinch of salt

With bells/knobs on

‘With bells on’ is a British colloquialism that dates from the late 19th century and means ‘and all the rest’ or ‘with all the extras’. The variant ‘w...

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With flying colours

see Come home with flying colours

Within a hair’s breadth

see By/to/within a hair’s breadth

Within a whisker of

see By/to/within a hair’s breadth

Without a leg to stand on

see Not a leg to stand on

Without moving a muscle

see Move a muscle

Without the shadow of a doubt

see Beyond/without a shadow of doubt

Without turning a hair

see Turn a hair


British slang for superb or excellent, especially when used as an exclamation, first attested from c. 1920, but rarely heard these days. See also pran...

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British slang for a bout of erratic, bad-tempered behaviour dates from the 1970s.


British slang for a foreigner of the darker skinned variety and dates from the mid-20th century. It is most probably not an acronym for ‘wily (or wort...

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Woke / Stay woke

'Woke', the past tense of 'wake', and the slogan 'stay woke' are originally African American expressions that signify an awareness of racial prejudice...

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Wolf in sheep’s clothing

This expression from the New Testament is commonly used to describe someone who is not all that they seem, or who has an ulterior motive usually to th...

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