Idioms and Expressions
- To whitewash something is to conceal an unpleasant reality.
- A white lie is an innocent lie told out of politeness.
- White noise is the noise of all the frequencies of sound combined. It is used to cover up unwanted noise.
- A white knight in finance is a friendly investor who steps in to rescue a company from a hostile takeover.
- A white elephant is a possession which was expensive to buy or maintain, but which turns out to have little real value.
- White collar workers are those who work in offices, as opposed to blue collar workers, who work with their hands in factories or workshops.
- A white paper is an authoritative report on a major issue by a team of experts; a government report outlining policy; or a short treatise whose purpose is to educate industry customers. Associating a paper with white may signify clean facts and unbiased information.
- The white feather is a symbol of cowardice, particularly in Britain. It supposedly comes from cockfighting and the belief that a cockerel sporting a white feather in its tail is likely to be a poor fighter. At the beginning of the First World War, women in England were encouraged to give white feathers to men who had not enlisted in the British Army.
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Famous quotes containing the word expressions:
“Compare the history of the novel to that of rock n roll. Both started out a minority taste, became a mass taste, and then splintered into several subgenres. Both have been the typical cultural expressions of classes and epochs. Both started out aggressively fighting for their share of attention, novels attacking the drama, the tract, and the poem, rock attacking jazz and pop and rolling over classical music.”
—W. T. Lhamon, U.S. educator, critic. Material Differences, Deliberate Speed: The Origins of a Cultural Style in the American 1950s, Smithsonian (1990)