Idioms are expressions with greater meaning. Phrases like "nick of time" or "in other words" or "for heaven's sake". Definition: a group of words in a fixed order that have a particular meaning that is different from the meanings of each word understood on its own:
a commotion or fuss, especially one caused by conflicting views. For example, “there was a kerfuffle over the chairmanship”.
a disturbance or commotion typically caused by a dispute or conflict. “In all the kerfuffle, nobody seemed to have noticed Harry, which suited him perfectly”.
Example: “Given Noah’s social media kerfuffle with Kanye West, viewers should also be attuned to any biting commentary.” — Melissa Ruggieri, USA TODAY, 30 Mar. 2022
disturbance, hoo-ha, to-do, commotion, flutter, hurly-burly, disruption, hoo-hah and brouhaha.
The root of “kerfuffle” is the very old Scots verb “fuffle,” which first appeared in print in the early 16th century and means “to throw into disorder.” The Oxford English Dictionary suggests that the “ker” part of “kerfuffle” may hare come from the Gaelic word “car,” meaning “to twist, bend or turn around.” In the case of “kerfuffle,” that would serve as a sort of intensive element, giving us the sense of “a twisted up, confused ruckus or dispute.” Sounds like every “kerfuffle” I’ve ever seen.
The phrase no ifs, ands, or buts is a list of words that are often used to begin a sentence that is an explanation or excuse for bad behavior or for not fulfilling an obligation. Most often, no ifs, ands or buts is one of those phrases that is expressed in informal, spoken English.
If someone says they don’t want to hear no ifs, ands, or buts then that means they don’t want to hear any excuses. Example: Jimmy has been relaxing all morning, so his mother said to him, “It’s time for you to do some house chores.
This expression uses the conjunctions to stand for the conditions and objections that they introduce. The earliest phrase to appear was ifs and ands in the 1600s. This phrase is actually an emphatic redundancy, for and often meant “if.” But was tacked on to this pair soon afterward.
Partial sources: Dictionary.com, Google.com, Cartoon credit: Mark Anderson
In the act of committing an error or crime, red-handed. For example, They caught the burglars dead to rights with the Oriental rugs. This phrase uses to rights in the sense of “at once.” [ Slang; mid-1800s]
US, 1854, originally New York City criminal slang, thence entered general use. dead (“completely, utterly”) + to rights (“properly”).
Dead to Rights is a video game series focusing on Jack Slate, a police officer in the fictional Grant City, and his K-9 partner Shadow. There are four games in the series. Wikipedia
First release: Dead to Rights; June 3, 2002
Latest release: Dead to Rights: Retribution; April 1, 2010
Genre: Third-person shooter
Dead to rights – Word Detective
Dear Word Detective: All the media and late-night jokesters are having a field day with the latest OJ escapade, of course. Several times I’ve heard or seen the phrase “this time they’ve got him dead to rights,” and I think we all understand what it means. The nearest thing to it in your archives is “caught redhanded,” which is not quite the same thing, nor is “they’ve got the goods on him this time!” But when I (figuratively) stand back and look at “got him dead to rights” it seems a rather strange construct — don’t you think? Anyway, did a specific author (like Mark Twain, or A. Conan Doyle, maybe) originate the phrase? Or just when and where did it come from? — Ken in Houston.
OJ who? Oh, right. Gosh, you know, there are times I almost regret my decision to stop watching TV news a couple of years ago. This isn’t one of them. Not that my tele-exile does much good. Despite my best efforts to avoid details of the Simpson kerfuffle, the basic facts of it seem to have seeped into my noggin by osmosis. Perhaps my fillings are picking up Fox News again.
In any case, just going by what the voices in my head tell me, Mr. Simpson does seem to have been caught “dead to rights,” which is to say that there is no reasonable argument that he did not do what he is said to have done and that, in a just universe, he would be, as the legal scholars put it, “toast.”
“Dead to rights” is indeed an odd expression, dating at least to the mid-19th century, when it was first collected in a glossary of underworld slang (“Vocabulum, or The Rogue’s Lexicon,” by George Matsell, 1859). The first part of the phrase, “dead,” is a slang use of the word to mean “absolutely, without doubt.” This use is more commonly heard in the UK, where it dates back to the 16th century, than in the US. “Dead” meaning “certainly” is based on the earlier use of “dead” to mean, quite logically, “with stillness suggestive of death, absolutely motionless,” a sense we still use when we say someone is “dead asleep.” The “absolutely, without doubt” sense is also found in “dead broke” and “dead certain.”
The “to rights” part of the phrase is a bit more complicated. “To rights” has been used since the 14th century to mean “in a proper manner,” or, later, “in proper condition or order,” a sense we also use in phrases such as “to set to rights,” meaning “to make a situation correct and orderly” (“Employed all the afternoon in my chamber, setting things and papers to rights,” Samuel Pepys, 1662). In the phrase “caught dead to rights,” the connotation is that every formality required by the law has been satisfied, and that the apprehension is what crooks in the UK used to call a “fair cop,” a clean and justifiable arrest. (“Cop,” from the Latin “capere,” to seize, has long been used as slang for “to grab” as well as slang for a police officer.) Of course, there’s many a slip ‘twixt the cop and the lips of the jury, so we shall see. Wake me when it’s over.
dead to rights. In the act of committing an error or crime, red-handed. For example, They caught the burglars dead to rights with the Oriental rugs. This phrase uses to rights in the sense of “at once.” [ Slang; mid-1800s]
Etymology. US, 1854, originally New York City criminal slang, thence entered general use. dead (“completely, utterly”) + to rights (“properly”).
Dead to Rights – Video Game
Dead to Rights is a video game series focusing on Jack Slate, a police officer in the fictional Grant City, and his K-9 partner Shadow. There are four games in the series.
Monty Python were a British surreal comedy group who created their sketch comedy show Monty Python’s Flying Circus, which first aired on the BBC in 1969. Forty-five episodes were made over four series. The Python phenomenon developed from the television series into something larger in scope and impact, including touring stage shows, films, numerous albums, several books, and musicals.
The Pythons’ influence on comedy has been compared to the Beatles’ influence on music. Their sketch show has been referred to as “not only one of the more enduring icons of 1970s British popular culture, but also an important moment in the evolution of television comedy”.
off the rails. (idiomatic) In an abnormal manner, especially in a manner that causes damage or malfunctioning. (idiomatic) Insane. (idiomatic) Off the intended path. (idiomatic) Out of control.
Used figuratively for thinness from 1872. To be “off the rails” in a figurative sense is from 1848, an image from the railroads. In U.S. use, “A piece of timber, cleft, hewed, or sawed, inserted in upright posts for fencing” [Webster, 1830].
In an abnormal or malfunctioning condition, as in “Her political campaign has been off the rails for months”. The phrase occurs commonly with go, as in “Once the superintendent resigned, the effort to reform the school system went off the rails”. This idiom alludes to the rails on which trains run; if a train goes off the rails, it stops or crashes. [Mid-1800s]
Having said that” is a transitional phrasethathas become more and more common in spoken language. When people say, “Having said that” it is a signalthatthey are going to say something which will contrast or disagree with what theysaida moment ago.Jun 3, 2014
A person or thing with only one special feature, talent, or area of expertise. The first known use of one-trick pony was in 1980.
For example: Her boldness in style, prowess and mood highlighted her viability as more than a one-trick pony.— Jason Scott, Billboard, “Carrie Underwood’s ‘Carnival Ride’ Turns 10: How the ‘Idol’ Winner Proved She’s a Country Mainstay,” 23 Oct. 2017
Paul Simon – One Trick Pony
One-Trick Pony, Paul Simon’s fifth solo studio album, was released in 1980. It was Simon’s first album for Warner Bros. Records, and his first new studio album since 1975’s Still Crazy After All These Years. His back catalog from Columbia Records would also move to Warner Bros. as a result of his signing with the label.
Callan Wink: More Than A One-Trick Pony
About the Book:
In the tradition of Richard Ford, Annie Proulx, and Kent Haruf comes a dazzling debut story collection by a young writer from the American West who has been published in The New Yorker, Granta, and The Best American Short Stories.
A construction worker on the run from the shady local businessman whose dog he has stolen; a Custer’s Last Stand reenactor engaged in a long-running affair with the Native American woman who slays him on the battlefield every year; a middle-aged high school janitor caught in a scary dispute over land and cattle with her former stepson: Callan Wink’s characters are often confronted with predicaments few of us can imagine. But thanks to the humor and remarkable empathy of this supremely gifted writer, the nine stories gathered in Dog Run Moon are universally transporting and resonant.
Set mostly in Montana and Wyoming, near the borders of Yellowstone National Park, this revelatory collection combines unforgettable insight into the fierce beauty of the West with a powerful understanding of human beings. Tender, frequently hilarious, and always electrifying, Dog Run Moon announces the arrival of a bold new talent writing deep in the American grain.
A robot may not injure a human being or, through inaction, allow a human being to come to harm. A robot must obey orders given it by human beings except where such orders would conflict with the First Law. A robot must protect its own existence as long as such protection does not conflict with the First or Second Law.
You useso to speakto draw attention to the fact that you are describing or referring to something in a way that may be amusing or unusual rather than completely accurate.
I ought not to tell you but I will, since you’re in the family, so to speak.
so to speak
A phrase used to indicate that what one has just said is an uncommon, metaphorical, or original way of saying something. Similar to the phrases “if you will” and “in a manner of speaking.”He was a fixer, so to speak—a man who could get things done.This arrangement will allow us to eliminate our debt and get back to solid ground, so to speak.