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The Phrase Finder

2,000 English idioms, phrases and proverbs explained.

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The Phrase Thesaurus

The Phrase Thesaurus is a writers' resource that stimulates ideas for headlines, copy, song lyrics, fiction writing etc.

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Meanings and Origins

The meanings and origins of thousands of English idioms, expressions and sayings:
  • Proverbs - a list of hundreds of the proverbs that give meaning to our language like no other form of expression.
  • American Idioms - Divided by a common language? Not when you understand the phrases that were born in the USA.
  • Phrases coined by Shakespeare - The Bard of Avon, he gave us more words and expressions than anyone else.
  • Nautical phrases Ahoy there, me hearties, here's the language that came from our nautical friends.
  • Phrases from the Bible - the single book that has given more sayings, idioms and proverbs to the English language than any other.
  • Categories of phrases - expressions and sayings grouped under topic headings.

Famous Last Words

When it comes to memorable quotations, many prominent people save the best until last.

See our list of Famous Last Words to find out who said what, just before they bit the dust.

Also, a special form of last words - notable suicide notes.