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A Phrase A Week



The meanings and origins of English phrases, sayings and idioms. A newly researched phrase is added each week.



Last Build Date: Fri, 5 Jul 2013 08:00:00 GMT

 



Play the race card

Fri, 5 Jul 2013 11:00:00 GMT

Race, or Ace?



By hook or by crook

Fri, 28 Jun 2013 11:00:00 GMT

We will find the origin, one way or another.



Dumb blonde

Fri, 21 Jun 2013 11:00:00 GMT

Maybe not so dumb?



Have a dekko

Fri, 14 Jun 2013 11:00:00 GMT

Dekko. What's that?



Heavy metal

Fri, 7 Jun 2013 11:00:00 GMT

Come on Ozzy, test that horn.



The acid test

Fri, 31 May 2013 11:00:00 GMT

LSD



Bronx cheer

Fri, 24 May 2013 11:00:00 GMT

Or, if you prefer, Bronk's cheer.



Hobson's choice

Fri, 17 May 2013 11:00:00 GMT

Your choice? My choice? No, Hobson's choice.



Joined at the hip

Fri, 10 May 2013 08:00:00 GMT

Hip, hip hooray.



Common sense

Fri, 3 May 2013 08:00:00 GMT

Born in the USA



Don't throw the baby out with the bathwater

Fri, 26 Apr 2013 08:00:00 GMT

As if you would.



Clog up

Fri, 19 Apr 2013 08:00:00 GMT

A merry clog dance.



Scot free

Fri, 12 Apr 2013 08:00:00 GMT

Born free? No, scot free.



Plug ugly

Fri, 5 Apr 2013 08:00:00 GMT

Pug? No, plug.



Bob's your uncle

Fri, 22 Mar 2013 08:00:00 GMT

Hi Uncle Bob. Giz a job.



In a nutshell

Fri, 15 Mar 2013 08:00:00 GMT

It's nuts, but that's the origin.



March phrases

Fri, 8 Mar 2013 08:00:00 GMT

Time marches on.



Swing the lead

Fri, 1 Mar 2013 08:00:00 GMT

Nautical, yes? Nautical, no.



As dead as a doornail

Fri, 22 Feb 2013 08:00:00 GMT

Yup. That's really dead.



Lick into shape

Fri, 15 Feb 2013 08:00:00 GMT

Is it a bird? Is it a Plane? No, it's a bear.



Whip round

Fri, 8 Feb 2013 08:00:00 GMT

Dig deep boys - here comes the bill.



Higgledy-piggledy

Fri, 1 Feb 2013 08:00:00 GMT

About pigs? It's a fair cop.



Fair dinkum

Fri, 25 Jan 2013 08:00:00 GMT

It's a fair cop.



As thick as thieves

Fri, 18 Jan 2013 08:00:00 GMT

Stupid? Maybe not.



Lily-livered

Fri, 11 Jan 2013 08:00:00 GMT

Feeling liverish? It must be that lily.



Union Jack

Fri, 4 Jan 2013 08:00:00 GMT

Keep the flag flying.



Necessity is the mother of invention

Fri, 28 Dec 2012 08:00:00 GMT

Frank Zappa said so - it must be true.



Ask a silly question

Fri, 14 Dec 2012 08:00:00 GMT

Well, go on then...



That's all she wrote

Fri, 7 Dec 2012 08:00:00 GMT

Yee har!



An arm and a leg

Fri, 23 Nov 2012 08:00:00 GMT

It'll cost ya.



Gussied up

Fri, 16 Nov 2012 08:00:00 GMT

No, don't dress dow. Guss up.



The toast of the town

Fri, 9 Nov 2012 08:00:00 GMT

You're toast.



Spring forward, Fall back

Fri, 2 Nov 2012 08:00:00 GMT

Head over heels.



Under the thumb

Fri, 19 Oct 2012 08:00:00 GMT

Leave no Stone unturned.



Badger to death

Fri, 12 Oct 2012 08:00:00 GMT

Not a nice way to go.



Worse for wear

Fri, 5 Oct 2012 08:00:00 GMT

Is it me or did the floor just move?



SLush fund

Fri, 28 Sep 2012 08:00:00 GMT

Slushie anyone? I don't think so.



Batten down the hatches

Fri, 21 Sep 2012 08:00:00 GMT

Not battern. Not baton. Batten.



Tawdry

Fri, 14 Sep 2012 08:00:00 GMT

Audrey! Get rid of that bling.



Fine words butter no parsnips

Fri, 7 Sep 2012 08:00:00 GMT

Just in case you thought they did. They don't.



On tenterhooks

Fri, 31 Aug 2012 08:00:00 GMT

More tension than tent.



Get your dander up

Fri, 24 Aug 2012 08:00:00 GMT

Fur or ferment?



Be enthralled

Fri, 17 Aug 2012 08:00:00 GMT

Enthralled? You really wouldn't want to be.



The real McCoy

Fri, 10 Aug 2012 08:00:00 GMT

For the real Real McCoy, read on...



Damp squib

Fri, 3 Aug 2012 08:00:00 GMT

For all things squiddish...



Young turk

Fri, 27 Jul 2012 08:00:00 GMT

Christmas is coming - prepare the turkey.



Old chestnut

Fri, 20 Jul 2012 08:00:00 GMT

Christmas is coming - get out the old chestnuts.



A bigger bang for your buck

Fri, 13 Jul 2012 08:00:00 GMT

Killing people in the most cost effective way possible.



On the fiddle

Fri, 06 Jul 2012 08:00:00 GMT

Sean, put down that violin!



Halcyon days

Fri, 29 Jun 2012 08:00:00 GMT

Hey - was that a halcyon I jusr spotted?



Fobbed off

Fri, 22 Jun 2012 08:00:00 GMT

Watch out - there's a fob about.



Plain sailing

Fri, 08 Jun 2012 08:00:00 GMT

It's as plain as the nose on your face.



A frog in your throat

Fri, 01 Jun 2012 08:00:00 GMT

Oi froggy! Get out of there.



A tissue of lies

Fri, 25 May 2012 08:00:00 GMT

Lies, no, it's all true.



Strait-laced

Fri, 18 May 2012 08:00:00 GMT

Straight or strait?.



Square meal

Fri, 11 May 2012 08:00:00 GMT

Square plates?.



Start from scratch

Fri, 4 May 2012 08:00:00 GMT

Itchy? No, scratchy.



All that glitters is not gold

Fri, 27 Apr 2012 08:00:00 GMT

Glisters? Glistens? No, glitters.



Revenge is a dish best served cold

Fri, 20 Apr 2012 08:00:00 GMT

Yes, it is.



Keep it under your hat

Fri, 13 Apr 2012 08:00:00 GMT

What better place?



Back to square one

Fri, 6 Apr 2012 08:00:00 GMT

Square One. Where is that exactly?



Absolute power corrupts absolutely

Fri, 30 Mar 2012 08:00:00 GMT

Yes, it does.



Go the whole hog

Fri, 23 Mar 2012 08:00:00 GMT

Get out of here hoggie.



A turn up for the books

Fri, 16 Mar 2012 08:00:00 GMT

Isn't it always the bookies who win?.



Stand and deliver

Fri, 9 Mar 2012 08:00:00 GMT

...your money or your life.



Cock-a-hoop

Fri, 2 Mar 2012 08:00:00 GMT

Don't believe all you hear.



Jack-in-the-box

Fri, 24 Feb 2012 08:00:00 GMT

It turns out that that's the best place for him.



Don't look a gift horse in the mouth

Fri, 17 Feb 2012 08:00:00 GMT

Really - don't..



Butterfingers

Fri, 10 Feb 2012 08:00:00 GMT

Not good if you are a cook or a wicket keeper.



A bird in the hand is worth two in the bush

Fri, 03 Feb 2012 08:00:00 GMT

Yes, it is.



Handle with kid gloves

Fri, 27 Jan 2012 08:00:00 GMT

I kid you not.



Cold turkey

Fri, 20 Jan 2012 08:00:00 GMT

Just chat amongst yourselves.



Nail your colours to the mast

Fri, 13 Jan 2012 08:00:00 GMT

Go on, you know you want to.



Second guess

Fri, 6 Jan 2012 08:00:00 GMT

You old second guesser, you.



Security blanket

Fri, 30 Dec 2011 08:00:00 GMT

Feeling insecure? - you know you need this.



As different as chalk and cheese

Fri, 16 Dec 2011 08:00:00 GMT

No, really, they are different.



Weasel words

Fri, 09 Dec 2011 08:00:00 GMT

Up to 50% or more words with this piece...



The writing is on the wall

Fri, 25 Nov 2011 08:00:00 GMT

The moving finder writes...



Pig's ear

Fri, 18 Nov 2011 08:00:00 GMT

Pig's where?



A norange

Fri, 11 Nov 2011 08:00:00 GMT

Norange? No such word you say? Well,maybe.



What you see is what you get

Fri, 4 Nov 2011 08:00:00 GMT

Coine by computer boffins? No, coined by kids.



Double Dutch

Fri, 28 Oct 2011 08:00:00 GMT

Uncoil that rope.



Jack

Fri, 21 Oct 2011 08:00:00 GMT

Jack - the most common of all men.



Pony up

Fri, 14 Oct 2011 08:00:00 GMT

Hey, pony. Where's that sick squid you owe me?



Fathom out

Fri, 7 Oct 2011 08:00:00 GMT

Come here; I want to fathom you.



If the shoe fits

Fri, 30 Sep 2011 08:00:00 GMT

Then wear it.



Bunny boiler

Fri, 23 Sep 2011 08:00:00 GMT

Tastes like chicken, I am told.



May you live in interesting times

Fri, 16 Sep 2011 08:00:00 GMT

Or perhaps you'd prefer not to.



For good measure

Fri, 9 Sep 2011 08:00:00 GMT

Measure twice; cut once.



Like it or lump it

Fri, 2 Sep 2011 08:00:00 GMT

Lump? What's that?



Blood, sweat and tears

Fri, 26 Aug 2011 08:00:00 GMT

Woe, woe, and twice woe.



Loose cannon

Fri, 19 Aug 2011 08:00:00 GMT

Clergyman with a stomach upset? I don't think so.



In the sticks

Fri, 12 Aug 2011 08:00:00 GMT

No, not the Styx; the sticks.



Forlorn hope

Fri, 05 Aug 2011 08:00:00 GMT

Don't give up - the army didn't.



Abracadabra

Fri, 29 Jul 2011 08:00:00 GMT

And for my next trick...



Between a rock and a hard place

Fri, 22 Jul 2011 08:00:00 GMT

Not the best position to be in.



Booby Prize

Fri, 15 Jul 2011 08:00:00 GMT

Step right up - win a prize.



Fair to middling

Fri, 08 Jul 2011 08:00:00 GMT

This week's phrase is fair to middling. Yes, it is.



Bean counter

Fri, 01 Jul 2011 08:00:00 GMT

How many beans make five?



Turn of phrase

Fri, 24 Jun 2011 08:00:00 GMT

This week it's the turn of Turn of Phrase.