A-Z Database

A-Z Database

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Wedding kit/tackle

Wedding kit is British slang for male genitalia dating from c. 1918. Wedding tackle means the same thing and dates from the 1980s. See also Tackle.


see Days of the week

Weight of the world on one’s shoulders

see Atlas

Well heeled

Well-heeled is an American expression from the latter half of the 19th century for wealthy or rich and derives from the notion that wealthy people can...

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Named after Sam Weller and his father, characters in Charles Dickens Pickwick Papers (1837) and has come to mean a style of speech or expression typic...

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Wellies, an abbreviation of Wellington boots, has been around since the 19th century but during the 1970s, the word became popular as a verb, as in “I...

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Went for a Burton

see Gone for a Burton

Went to see a man about a dog

see See a man about a dog


To be a ‘wet’ is public school slang from the late 19th/early 20th century for a weak and ineffectual person. Eric Partridge maintains it is a more po...

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Wet behind the ears

Wet behind the ears is a metaphor for a novice or beginner and the evidence seems to suggest that this is an American expression from the early 20th c...

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Wet blanket

Since at least the late 1600s, wet blankets were used to extinguish fires. By the mid-19th century it had become figurative for a person who threw a d...

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Wet fart in a trance

see Fart in a trance

Wet nurse

Originally, from the early 1600s, a wet nurse was a woman employed to suckle the infant of another, the opposite of a dry nurse who looked after an in...

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Wet one’s whistle

Whistle has been a jocular name for the mouth or throat since The Middle Ages. To wet one’s whistle is simply to have a drink of something. This expre...

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A fair whack meaning a just portion or share is British slang and dates from the late 18th/early 19th century, presumably from having whacked or cut s...

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