A-Z Database

A-Z Database

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Whole enchilada

An enchilada is a Mexican corn tortilla, rolled up, filled with a variety of spicy ingredients, and served with a chilli sauce. Enchilada is the past...

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Whole hog

This is the oldest of many expressions that use the word whole to mean completely, all the way or the whole lot. Go the whole hog dates from the early...

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Whole nine yards

This relatively modern American expression from the 1960s meaning ‘all the way, completely, everything, the whole lot, the works’ is one of the most t...

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Whole shebang

The whole shebang is an American expression that means the whole lot and dates from the late 19th century. The OED states that the etymology of sheban...

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Whole shooting match

The whole shooting match is an American expression that means the whole lot dates from the late 19th century and derives from US military slang.


Whole world and his dog

This expression describes a huge, uncountable crowd and dates from the early 19th century but appeared earlier in a slightly different form when Jonat...

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Whoopee

This expression is of American origin c. 1845 and is an exclamation of unbridled enjoyment and excitement. Making whoopee means having a good time. It...

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Whoops-a-daisy

see Oops!


Whoops!

see Oops!


Whopper

British colloquial noun for something uncommonly large or a monstrous lie, dates from the late 18th century.


Whopping

British colloquial adjective describing something abnormally large dates from the early 1600s. There are many such words all deriving from striking or...

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Wick

see Get on someone’s wick


Wicked

In the ironic sense of something wonderful, the origin is American and first cited in This Side of Paradise (1920) by F. Scott Fitzgerald. During the...

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Wide berth

see Give a wide berth


Wide boy

Conjures up images of London working class youth, living on the borders of criminality and, indeed, this meaning is first attested for this phrase fro...

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