Be all things to all people : Be all things to all people
Alive and kicking
Prevalent and very active
1991 Mark Tully - No Full Stops in India – You deliberately choose unknown actors, although India is a country where the star system is very much alive and kicking.
Alive and well
Still existing or active (often used to deny rumours or beliefs that something has disappeared or declined).
1990 - Times - Thatcherism may be dying on its feet in Britain, but it is alive and well in foreign parts.
All and sundry
1991 - Sunday Times - In the manner of an Oscarwinner, she thanks all and sundry for their help.
Anyone who chooses to take part in an activity, typically a competition
1992 - AI Gore - Earth in the Balance - He has traveled to conferences and symposia in every part of the world, argued his case and patiently taken on all comers.
With everything included
All my eye and Betty Martin = My eye
(Informal – dated)
Who or what - Betty Martin - was has never been satisfactorily explained. Another version of the saying also in use in the late 18th century was all my eye and my elbow.
1991 - Robertson Davies - Murther & Walking Spirits - Of course many of the grievances are all my eye and Betty Martin (Anna has picked up this soldier's phrase from her husband and likes to use it to show how thoroughly British she has become).
As much as (often used ironically of an amount considered very small by the speaker or writer)
1995 - Bill Bryson - Notes from a Small Island - In 1992, a development company... tore down five listed buildings, in a conservation area, was taken to court and fined all of £675.
Be all one to
Make no difference to someone
Using all your strength or resources
All over the place
In a state of confusion or disorganization (Informal)
Other variants of this phrase include all over the map
and all over the lot
which are North American and all over the shop
which is mainly British.
1997 - Spectator - The government... proposed equalising standards and making them comparable... there could be no clearer admission that standards are all over the place.
All the rage
Very popular or fashionable
Rage is used here in the sense of a widespread (and often temporary)
Enthusiasm or fashion
1998 - New Scientist - The weather people call this repetition ensemble forecasting and it has been all the rage since an unexpected storm blew in late one evening and ripped through Southern Britain in October 1987.
In all respects
For each person
By each person
All-singing = All-dancing
With every possible attribute
Able to perform any necessary function - British informal
This phrase is used particularly in the area of computer technology, but it was originally used to describe show-business acts. Ultimately, it may come from a series of 1929 posters which advertised the addition of sound to motion pictures. The first Hollywood musical, MGM's Broadway Melody, was promoted with the slogan All Talking All Singing All Dancing.
1991 - Computing - Each of the major independents launched an all-singing all-dancing graphics-oriented version last year.
All systems go
Everything functioning properly
Ready to proceed
Be all that
Be very attractive or good
2002 – Guardian - I can't believe how she throws herself at guys, she thinks she's all that.
Not all there
Not in full possession of your mental faculties - Informal
Be all things to all men = Be all things to all people
Please everyone, typically by regularly altering your behaviour or opinions in order to conform to those of others.
Be able to be interpreted or used differently by different people to their own satisfaction.
This expression probably originated in reference to 1 Corinthians 9 : 22 : I am made all things to all men.
Used to emphasize something additional that is being referred to - Informal
1992 - Kenichi Ohmae - The Borderless World – You can whip up nationalist passions and stagemanage protectionist rallies, bonfires and all.
Be all go
Be very busy or active - Informal
Be all up with = It is all up with
It is the end or there is no hope for someone or something - Informal
2002 - Guardian - The underlying problem is not the science itself, but the fact that the science is telling politicians something they are desperate not to hear….that it's all up with our current model of gung-ho globalisation.
In spite of
1989 - Independent - For all their cruel, corrupt and reckless vices, the Maharajahs were worshipped as gods by tens of thousands of their subjects.
All of a sudden = Of a sudden
As a noun sudden is now found only in this phrase, but from the mid 16th century to the early 18th century it was in regular use in the sense - an unexpected danger or emergency.
On all fours = On all fours with
Presenting an exact analogy with
1992 - Independent - President Saddam's occupation of Kuwait was, he declared, on all fours with Hitler's aggressions.
Give the all-clear = Get the all-clear
Indicate or get a sign that a dangerous situation is now safe.
In wartime a signal or siren is often sounded to indicate that a bombing raid is over.
Be all things to all people
Be all things to all people :
Be all things to all people To HOME PAGE
Idioms Index – Previous Page