A Dictionary of Cliches by Eric Partridge

By Eric Partridge

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A person always on the move from one place (or country) to another: mid C. 19–20. From migrant birds. *birds of a feather is the cliché-shortening (C. 19–20) of the proverb, ‘birds of a feather flock together’ (C. 17–20; in C. 16, ‘…fly…’; ‘the Greeks had a word for it’, and so had the Romans of Cicero’s day). A dictionary of Clichés 40 bite off more than one can chew, to . To undertake more than one can deal with or perform: late C. 19–20. bitter complaint, a; bitter complaints . A harsh or trenchant or sharply reproachful complaint or complaints: C.

Literally, a plutocrat too proud or excessively pampered. blood and iron . This phrase (Blut und Eisen), ‘military force as opposed to diplomacy’, used by Bismarck in a speech delivered to the Diet in 1862, was taken up by Tennyson in his poem, A Word for the Country, thus: ‘Not with dreams, but with blood and with iron, shall a nation be moulded at last’; a cliché since ca. 1880. ) blood and treasure . See expense of… A dictionary of clichés A-Z 43 blood-curdling yell, a . A horrible and/or eery yell: late C.

There was originally an allusion to Matthew Arnold, whose Culture and Anarchy appeared in 1859. appeal from Philip drunk to Philip sober, to . To appeal to a person ‘in his right mind’: literary: C. 19–20. From provocarem ad Philippum, sed sobrium (‘I would appeal to Philip, but when he is sober’, Benham): Valerius Maximus, fl. D. 14. *appear on the scene, to . To appear; to arrive: mid C. 19–20. From an actor’s appearing on the stage, esp. for the first time in the performance of a play. appears to be without foundation, it .

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