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Origins of Sayings and Proverbs

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
A
agog
as mad as a hatter
at a loose end
B
back to square one
balls against the wall
batten down the hatches
balloon has gone up, once the
beat about the bush
beat a retreat
bee's knees, it's the
berk
bite the bullet
bite off more than you can chew
bitter end
bog standard
booby trap
as bright as a button
by and large
C
chance your arm
cold enough to freeze the balls off a brass monkey, it's
carry coals to Newcastle
caught red-handed, to be
cock and bull story, a
crocodile tears, to weep
cut and run
D
daylight robbery
as dead as a dodo
dead in the water
dead ringer
dog's bollocks, the
E
F
feather in your cap
flash in the pan
full nine yards (whole nine yards)
G
get out of bed on the wrong side
go with the flow
good egg / bad egg
groggy
H
had your chips
hand over fist
hanging by a thread
hoisted by your own petard
I
if you scratch my back, I'll scratch yours
ignorance is bliss
J
K
L
last ditch attempt
left high and dry
loose end, at a
M
make money from old rope
Mickey Finn
monkey wrench
N
nipper
not enough room to swing a cat, there's
O
once the balloon has gone up
the origin of 'OK' (okay)
on the fiddle
over the barrel
over the top
P
pan out nicely
pass with flying colours
piping hot
plumb the depths
pull your finger out
push the boat out
Q
R
raining cats and dogs
S
salad days
sent to Coventry
skeletons in the cupboard
sick as a parrot
sling your hook
spick and span
spill the beans
splice the mainbrace
strike while the iron is hot
square meal
swing the lead
T
taken aback
to have someone over the barrel
throw down the gauntlet
two-faced
U
ugly duckling
under the weather
use your loaf
V
W
weep crocodile tears, to
whistle for it
whole nine yards (full nine yards)
wolf in sheep's clothing
X
Y
Z