things that go bump in the night

things that go bump in the night

ghosts, supernatural beings – informal

This expression comes from The Cornish or West Country Litany : From ghoulies and ghosties and long-leggety beasties And things that go bump in the night, Good Lord deliver us! The phrase is used as a humorous way of referring to nocturnal disturbances of all sorts.

Related Idioms and Phrases :

bums on seats

the audience at a theatre, cinema or other entertainment, viewed as a source of income – informal

give someone the bum's rush = get the bum's rush

forcibly eject someone (or be forcibly ejected) from a place or gathering

abruptly dismiss someone (or be abruptly dismissed) for a poor idea or performance - chiefly North American

1998 - Spectator – When James Cameron wrote an uproariously funny piece about the hotel's iniquities. he was promptly given the bum's rush.

on the bum

traveling rough and with no fixed home

vagrant - North American


very close together, as cars in traffic jam

(chiefly of an insurance policy) comprehensive, all inclusive

have a bun in the oven

be pregnant – informal

take the bun

be the most remarkable – informal

1925 - P. G. Wodehouse - Letter - Of all the poisonous, foul, ghastly places, Cannes takes the biscuit with absurd ease.

bunch of fives

a fist, a punch – British informal

a bundle of nerves

a person who is extremely timid or tense – informal

a bundle of laughs = a bundle of fun

something extremely amusing or pleasant – informal

drop your bundle

panic or lose one's self-control - Australian & New Zealand informal

This expression comes from an obsolete sense of bundle meaning swag or a traveler’s or miner's bundle of personal belongings.

go a bundle on

be very keen on or fond of - British informal

In this idiom, bundle is being used in the late 19th-century US slang sense of a bundle of money, i.e. a large sum. To go a bundle on was originally early 20th-century slang for betting a large sum of money on a horse.

1968 - Adam Diment - Bang Bang Birds - I don't go a bundle on being told I'm a pro.

go bung


fail or go bankrupt - Australian & New Zealand informal

In this sense bung comes from Yagara, an extinct Aboriginal language.

1951 - J. Devanny - Travel in North Queensland - The stations would go bung without the ADOS - one of the missionaries told me.

the white man's burden

the task, believed by white colonizers to be incumbent upon them, of imposing Western civilization on the black inhabitants of European colonies – dated

The white man's burden comes from Rudyard Kipling's poem of that title (1899), originally referring specifically to the United States’ role in the Philippines.

give it a burl

attempt to do something - Australian & New Zealand informal

1953 - T. A. G. Hungerford - Riverslake - Well you want to give it a burl—you want to come?

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