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Idioms are a group of words established by usage as having a meaning not deducible from those of the individual words. Use [idiom-requests] if you are searching for an idiom with a particular meaning.

2
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If you accept the first of the following then the rest follow in a similar pattern: It is me It is us They are us Toys are us So the last is a possible response to the question "Who are toys?" but …
answered Mar 3 '12 by Henry
2
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It is not an idiom but a quotation from the end of the Samuel Beckett novel The Unnamable. It suggests a determination to overcome impossibility.
answered Jun 29 '11 by Henry
17
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There are two possibilities: either the difficulty of terrain makes a country mile harder to travel; or before standardisation, miles were further. An example of the first from Frederick de Kruger's …
answered Jul 3 '11 by Henry
1
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The rest of the WSJ article is about issues of employees using personal smartphones with company data, so perhaps the company Blackberry is no longer cutting edge.
answered Jun 6 '11 by Henry
2
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Zugzwang, although it is usually defined otherwise, means that you are already losing and it will become obvious after your next move. Catch-22 is about the paradoxes of military life, in particular …
answered Mar 5 '11 by Henry
2
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Being British, I would use the phrasal verb to cave in to, but either way the intended meaning is that described in the Oxford Dictionaries site as Yield or submit under pressure
answered Jun 10 '15 by Henry
0
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The phrase supposes that the smallest favour you can do for somebody is telling them what time it is when they ask. So not giving them the time of day amounts to ignoring their tiny request, and by …
answered Sep 1 '12 by Henry
1
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Various dictionaries confirm this as the meaning and give the first use as 1893: Wordorigins.org points to it in English Illustrated Magazine. I shall indeed take a holiday soon,...but it will b …
answered Mar 1 '11 by Henry
4
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It is likely to be about the risk of climbing onto a branch of a tree. This states that it was used by Steubenville Daily Herald in 1895: "We can carry the legislature like hanging out a washin …
answered May 8 '11 by Henry
113
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"Batteries not included" is a message you might find on the packaging of an electrically powered toy. Essentially it means that you should not expect the toy to work straight out of the box, and that …
answered Apr 17 '17 by Henry
1
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I suspect the phrase is "eggs on the eye" This is a translation of a Serbo-Croat phrase meaning fried eggs (not scrambled, but over easy in American) But it is also a crude pun: like Spanish, Serbo- …
answered Jun 19 by Henry
8
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Punch line is the final part of the joke which makes you understand the meaning of the joke and that it is a joke. Many dot-com businesses were so extremely uncommercial that looking back it is fun …
answered Mar 7 '11 by Henry
47
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"The powers that be" is a set phrase drawn from early translations of the Bible into English (Tyndale, Geneva, KJV etc.), in particular Romans 13:1. So its grammar (subjunctive) reflects the usage of …
answered Jan 3 '16 by Henry
5
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The Phrase Finder discusses "Put up your Dukes" pointing to Vocabulum; or, The rogue's lexicon, compiled from the most authentic sources, 1859 which has DUKES. The hands I particularly like the …
answered Nov 30 '12 by Henry
7
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"Played a blinder" is certainly a UK sports idiom for brilliant performance and so metaphorically in other areas. It is not clear whether it is the spectators or the opponents who are being blinded b …
answered Jan 1 '12 by Henry