A-Z Database

A-Z Database

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Worm turns

The worm turns is a metaphor that means even the weakest will turn and face up to an adverse situation, and try to reverse it. It is an old proverb th...

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Worry wart

A worry wart is a person who frets or worries excessively. The expression originated in America and its usage is still chiefly American, although it i...

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Worsted is fine, high quality woollen yarn dates from the 13th century. It is named after Worstead, a town in Norfolk where it was first made.

Worth a continental

see Not give/worth a continental

Worth one’s salt

This expression usually appears in its negative form of not being worth one’s salt. It goes back to Roman times when salt was such a valuable commodit...

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The British slang phrase ‘wotcha cock’ is actually short for the very dated ‘wotcha cock sparrow/sparrer’. Wotcha is in fact a contraction of the medi...

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Would not be caught, found or seen dead…

Almost anything can follow these words because there is a whole universe of situations and things that people find abhorrent and in which they would n...

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Would not know from a bar of soap

see Know from a bar of soap

Would not know from Adam

see Know from a bar of soap

Would not say boo to a goose

see Not say boo to a goose

Would not touch with a barge pole

see Not touch with a barge pole

Wouldn’t give someone the time of day

see Not give someone the time of day

Wrap/twist/turn someone around one’s (little) finger

To have complete control or influence over someone so that only one’s finger or little finger is needed as the control mechanism, dates from the mid-1...

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Write home about

see Nothing to write home about

Writing is on the wall

A metaphor for a sign or clear indication of imminent failure or disaster. The original writing on the wall comes from the Bible, Daniel 5:22, and was...

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