Idioms

Learn idioms with comprehensive meaning, examples and origin details.

Idioms

Idioms beginning with Q

quality time

quality time

Meaning

  • Time that is spent in good company.
  • Well spent time.
  • Time spent in providing attention to someone who otherwise feels neglected.

Example Sentences

  1. It had been so long since we went on a vacation but this last month we decided to spend quality time with the family regardless.
  2. I prefer giving quality time to my children, these are their most precious year anyway.
  3. She has barely spent quality time with her husband since the time they got married. Perhaps this impromptu vacation will help.
  4. It is important that one does not neglect their children in order to spend quality time at work.
  5. The most critical aspect of his recovery seems to be the quality time that he is getting to spend with his family and friends. The positive atmosphere is helping a lot.

Origin
The origination of the phrase is believed to have been from the early 70’s in the United States of America when the concept of being able to balance the work life with a home life. A newspaper called ‘The Capital’ used the phrase in the sense that it is in use today in 1973 in an article which was titled ‘How to be liberated’. The focus of the article was on the quality of time spent rather than the quantity.

Queensberry rules

the Queensberry rules

Meaning:

  • standard rules of polite or acceptable behavior
  • code of conduct
  • moral decorum
  • gentlemanly conduct especially in a dispute

Example:

  1. It was ensured by the police that both the parties adhered to the Queensberry rules during their hearing session in the high court.
  2. Despite the fact he was knowledgeable and dedicated towards his work, the company fired him because he didn’t follow the Queensberry rules in the office.
  3. Each organisation has Queensberry rules for its members to follow.
  4. This time, the Olympic association has made its Queensberry rules stricter and is going to blacklist the sports person lifelong if they do not follow them.

Origin:
The Queensberry Rules are a set of rules which were framed in the year 1867. Sir John Sholto Douglas(1844-1900), ninth Marquis of Queensberry, is said to have supervised the making of this moral decorum to govern boxing game in Great Britain. They are used in amateur as well as professional matches.

qui vive

on the qui vive

Meaning:

  • on the alert or lookout.
  • on vigilance
  • on being observant

Example:

  1. Their duty requires most of the soldiers to be on the qui vive at the Siachen of Kashmir India battlefield.
  2. What he might do the next do was uncertain. His uncertainty always kept her on the qui vive to avoid any mishap.
  3. The nurses were on the qui vive for the patient who had undergone a trauma attack few hours before and would wake any moment as the effect of sedition had been over.
  4. The guards were on a qui vive outside the precious gems museum as they had received a warning regarding the museum being looted.

Origin:
Qui vive is a french expression that has come into existence in English since the late 16th century. In literal terms, it means (long) live who? i.e on whose side are you? ‘In former times, such a provocation was issued by a sentry to someone coming towards his post so as to make sure which side their loyalty was’.

quantum leap

quantum leap
Meaning: a very important improvement or development in something.
Example: The election of a female Prime Minister is a quantum leap forward for equality in humanity.

quote, unquote

quote, unquote meaning

  • to use a phrase which has been coined by someone else but saying it in disbelief
  • to say something sarcastically
  • A popular way to use this phrase when communicating orally is to wriggle the index and middle fingers up and down reflecting the quote sign. It reflects that the person does not mean what he is saying but it is being said out of anger, spite or to create a comical effect.

Example Sentences

  1. She wants to practice law because it is a quote – respected – unquote – field.
  2. You should know that the meaning of quote – love – unquote is very different for every woman. Some will equate it to your wealth and some will truly want you.
  3. The mosquitoes at his place are quote – very friendly – unquote, they will come to you before any of the house members do.
  4. I quote – love – unquote his new hairdo. Makes him look like a true descendant of wild Apes.

Origin

The French language has phrases such as “ouvrir les guillemets” then “fermer les guillemets” which literally mean “open quotes” and “closed quotes” which better demarcates what is within those quotes. The English version of the phrase is merely seen as a translation of it. The sarcastic twist is better applied when using in spoken English than written.

queer pitch

queer pitch

Meaning:

  • spoil somebody’s chance of doing something.
  • Making a deed more difficult for someone
  • secret or malicious attempt to not letting someone do what they can
  • Spoil someone’s chances of success

Example:

  1. He queered my pitch by asking for promotion before I did.
  2. Justin queered his friend’s pitch by proposing the girl his friend was going to propose to.
  3. In today’s corporate world, people want to get ahead of one another by queering others’ pitch. They do not believe in cooperation anymore.
  4. Jenny queered her sister’s pitch by not hiding the appointment letter that came for her sister from the company she was selected in.
  5. A few Political parties try to queer on another’s pitch by booth capturing during the time of elections.

Origin:
This phrase, a British term came into existence as a slang during 19th-century. The pitch used in the phrase is referred to as the place where a street performer stationed themselves or the site of a market trader’s stall. Queer’ has been used as a act that means ‘to spoil’ since the early 19th century. These two put collectively give the meaning of this phrase. It was first recorded, in the 19th-century speech in London, in The Swell’s Night Guide, in the year 1846.

“Nanty coming it on a pall, or wid cracking to queer a pitch.”