alphabetical index

A – B – C – D – E – FGHIJK – L – M – N – O – P – Q – R – S – T – U – V – W – X – Y – Z – miscellany


A
A1
a cat may look at a king
a chip on one’s shoulder
a fly in the ointment
above board
admirable Crichton
agony aunt – agony column
Ajax
Albion
to amputate one’s mahogany
an axe to grind
annulaire – ring finger
another pair of shoes
the apple of one’s eye
apple-pie order
arm, to chance one’s
(as) cold as charity
(as) fit as a fiddle
(as) fresh as a daisy
(as) happy as a clam
(as) happy as a sandboy
(as) mad as a hatter
(as) mad as a March hare
(as) poor as a church mouse
(as) thick as thieves
(as) warm as toast
at one fell swoop
at sixes and sevens
auld lang syne
Aunt Sally
axe to grind, an


B
back to the drawing board
bag of mystery
banger
to be barking up the wrong tree
barmy
the bee’s knees
to beggar belief
belief, to beggar
beyond the pale
bird (to get the bird)
black sheep
blarney
blotto
board, above
Boche
bone (to make no bones about something)
bonfire
boo to a goose, wouldn’t say
to break one’s duck
Brexit
brunch
budget
Buggin’s turn
to burn the midnight oil
bus, to miss the
to buy a pig in a poke


C
cake (you can’t have your cake and eat it)
cannon (loose cannon)
to carry coals to Newcastle
cat (a cat may look at a king)
cat (to let the cat out of the bag)
cat (like a cat on hot bricks)
cat (like a cat on a hot tin roof)
cat (to look like something the cat has brought in)
cat (no room to swing a cat)
cat (not a cat in hell’s chance)
cat (to see which way the cat jumps)
the Cat-and-Mouse Act
cat-o’-nine-tails
cats and dogs, to rain – part 1
cats and dogs, to rain – part 2
the cat’s whiskers
caviar to the general
to chance one’s arm
charity, (as) cold as
charley horse
cheese – fromage
cherchez la femme
Cheshire cat, to grin like a
chestnut (old chestnut – marronnier)
chip on one’s shoulder, a
Christmas Truce of 1914
church mouse, (as) poor as a
clam, (as) happy as a
clew
cloak
clock
cloud (every cloud has a silver lining)
clue
coals to Newcastle, to carry
to cock a snook
cock-and-bull story
cocked hat, to knock into a
(as) cold as charity
cold call
cold comfort
the cold shoulder
contredanse
corduroy
counter, to nail to the
Crichton, admirable
cruse (widow’s cruse)
cup (the cup that cheers)
curate’s egg
curfew
cut and dried
Cymru


D
daisy, (as) fresh as a
daisies, to push up
damn, not to give a tinker’s
dandelion
dandy
deadline
Dicky’s meadow, in
Disgusted
donkey
donkey’s years
doolally
drawing board, back to the
dressed to the nines
duck, to break one’s


E
earthling
to eat humble pie
eggs, to teach one’s grandmother to suck
enemy (How goes the enemy?)
esprit d’escalier
every cloud has a silver lining
excuse my French


F
fag end
Fanny Adams – Harriet Lane
far from the madding crowd
fawn
fed up
fell swoop, at one
femme, cherchez la
fetus
fiddle, (as) fit as a
field bishop
fifth column
to fight like Kilkenny cats
(as) fit as a fiddle
flea market
flirt
a fly in the ointment
fly-by-night
foie gras
the forbidden fruit
forlorn hope
the fourth estate
foaled of an acorn, a horse that was
French, excuse my
French leave
(as) fresh as a daisy
frog (to have a frog in one’s throat)
to frog-march
from pillar to post
from the horse’s mouth, straight
fromage – cheese


G
galaxy
gallery, to play to the
gauntlet, to run the
gazette
Georgium Sidus
to get the bird
gianduja
gigolo
not to give a tinker’s damn
gongoozler
goose, wouldn’t say boo to a
gooseberry, to play
gossip
Greek (it’s (all) Greek to me)
grimalkin
to grin like a Cheshire cat
grog
guy


H
hail-fellow-well-met
hair of the dog
halcyon
ham-fisted – ham-handed
hand (the right hand doesn’t know what the left hand’s doing)
hand of glory
(as) happy as a clam
(as) happy as a sandboy
Harriet Lane – Fanny Adams
hash (to make a hash of something)
hash (to settle someone’s hash)
hat trick
hatter, (as) mad as a
to have a frog in one’s throat
heart of hearts
heart of oak
hell (not a cat in hell’s chance)
hell hath no fury like a woman scorned
helpmate
Hobson’s choice
Hogs Norton
a horse that was foaled of an acorn
horse (straight from the horse’s mouth)
hot (like a cat on hot bricks)
hot (like a cat on a hot tin roof)
hot dog
hot mess
How goes the enemy?
human bean
humble pie, to eat


I
imbecile
in Dicky’s meadow
in the swim
incunabula
Indian summer
it’s (all) Greek to me
Joneses, to keep up with the


J
Joe Bloggs
jolly hockey stick(s)


K
to keep up with the Joneses
keep your shirt on
kettle of fish, a pretty
to kick the bucket
kidney, of that
Kilkenny cats
knight in shining armour
to knock into a cocked hat


L
to lark about
leave, French
to leave in the lurch
to leave no stone unturned
the left hand doesn’t know what the right hand’s doing
to let the cat out of the bag
lettuce
like a cat on hot bricks
like a cat on a hot tin roof
Liverpudlian
lobster
locust
to look like something the cat has brought in
loose cannon
to lose one’s marbles
love (no love lost)
lupus
lurch, to leave in the


M
Maconochie
(as) mad as a hatter
(as) mad as a March hare
madding crowd, far from the
magpiety
mahogany, to amputate one’s
to make a hash of something
to make (both) ends meet
to make no bones about something
Mamamouchi
MAMIL
marbles, to lose one’s
March hare, (as) mad as a
marines, tell that to the
marronnier – old chestnut
marrowsky
Mayday
mayonnaise
meat (one man’s meat is another man’s poison)
mess of pottage
mice and men, of
midinette
midnight oil, to burn the
milliner
milquetoast
to miss the bus
money for old rope
moonshine
myrmidon
mystery bag


N
nail, on the
to nail (to the counter)
nightcap
nines, dressed to the
no love lost
no room to swing a cat
nose, to pay through the
not a cat in hell’s chance
nul points


O
of mice and men
of that kidney
ointment, a fly in the
old chestnut – marronnier
OMG
omnishambles
on the nail
one fell swoop, at
one for the road – stirrup cup
one man’s meat is another man’s poison
one swallow does not make a summer
ordeal
over the top


P
padoodle
to paint the town red
pale, beyond the
pandemonium
panjandrum
pastiche – pastis
to pay through the nose
peaceable kingdom
pedigree
peeping Tom
penny (the penny dropped)
philtrum
picnic
pig (to buy a pig in a poke)
pig (to sweat like a pig)
pigs might fly
pigeon à la crapaudine – toad-in-the-hole
pillar to post, from
pink
piping hot
to play gooseberry
to play to the gallery
poison (one man’s meat is another man’s poison)
Pollyanna
(as) poor as a church mouse
port – starboard
posh
poulet
pour encourager les autres
pregnant
P’s and Q’s
pup, to sell a
to push up daisies
put a sock in it
to put on one’s thinking cap


Q
(in) quick sticks
quiz


R
to rain cats and dogs – part 1
to rain cats and dogs – part 2
ranz-des-vaches
rat, to smell a
to read the riot act
red, to paint the town
red top
reseda
rhesus
Richard Snary
rift in the lute
the right hand doesn’t know what the left hand’s doing
ring finger – annulaire
riot act, to read the
roost, to rule the
rôti sans pareil – turducken
Rotten row
to rule the roost
to run the gauntlet


S
to sack
sæva indignatio
Sally, Aunt
sandboy, (as) happy as a
sandwich
sanglier
say boo to a goose, wouldn’t
Scouse
to see which way the cat jumps
to sell a pup
serendipity
to settle someone’s hash
shambles
Shank’s pony
sheep, black
shell out
shirt (keep your shirt on)
Shock-headed Peter
shoe (another pair of shoes)
shoplifting
short shrift
shoulder, a chip on one’s
shoulder, the cold
show a leg
silk (you can’t make a silk purse out of a sow’s ear)
silver lining, every cloud has a
Simon says
sirloin
sixes and sevens, at
a skeleton at the feast
to sleep like a top
to smell a rat
smoke and mirrors
Snary, Richard
soccer
sock in it, put a
sow (you can’t make a silk purse out of a sow’s ear)
spoonerism
sport
stalking horse
starboard – port
to steal someone’s thunder
stick ((in) quick sticks)
stirrup cup – one for the road
stone (to leave no stone unturned)
straight from the horse’s mouth
strawberry preacher
one swallow does not make a summer
to sweat like a pig
swim, in the
swoop, at one fell


T
tabloid (1)
tabloid (2)
tace is Latin for candle
tart
to teach one’s grandmother to suck eggs
Teddy boy
teetotal
teetotum
tell that to the marines
tennis
the bee’s knees
the cat’s whiskers
the cold shoulder
the cup that cheers
the penny dropped
the right hand doesn’t know what the left hand’s doing
the toast of the town
(as) thick as thieves
thinking cap
thunder, to steal someone’s
tinker (not to give a tinker’s damn)
tit for tat
to the nines, dressed
toad-in-the-hole – pigeon à la crapaudine
toast (the toast of the town)
toast, (as) warm as
(with) tongue in cheek
toot sweet
to toe the line
to toilet-paper
top, to sleep like a
town red, to paint the
to T.P.
trick or treat
trumpery
tulip
turban
turducken – rôti sans pareil
(Yorkshire) tyke


V
valentine
virtus dormitiva


W
Wales
(as) warm as toast
who’s ‘she’—the cat’s mother?
widow’s cruse
window
(with) tongue in cheek
Witham
wouldn’t say boo to a goose
wrong tree, to be barking up the


X
Xmas


Y
Yorkshire tyke
you can’t have your cake and eat it
you can’t make a silk purse out of a sow’s ear


miscellany
French pig idioms
Galloglossia
The language of domination
Our lunatic contributor