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The Phrase Finder

2,500 English idioms, phrases and proverbs explained.

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American expressions

Lots of English was born in the USA. Check this list of American expressions.

Phrases coined at sea

Ahoy there! Check these nautical phrases.
The meanings and origins of thousands of English phrases

American Expressions

English is now international and the USA has contributed to it more than any other country apart from England. Here are 400+ American Expressions, with their meanings and origins.

English Proverbs

Proverbs define our language. Here are 650 English proverbs, with their meanings and origins.

Phrases coined by William Shakespeare

The Bard added more new words, idioms and expressions to the English language than any other writer. Here's a list of phrases from Shakespeare.

Phrases first found in the Bible

The Bible contains many proverbs and expressions that are commonplace in our language. Here's our list of phrases from the Bible.


Everyone loves a good euphemism - here's a list.

Famous Last Words

Read our Famous Last Words to find out who said what before they bit the dust. Also, a special form of last words - notable suicide notes.


A list of misquotes. If you prefer, we also have real quotes.