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any Tom, Dick, or Harry

Any common, undistinguished person; anyone at all, indiscriminately. You don't want any Tom, Dick, or Harry coming to your performance, but then you don't want to limit the amount of business you might bring in, either. Kate's being very selective as to who gets invited to the wedding, as she doesn't want just any Tom, Dick, or Harry turning up.
See also: any, harry

Tom, Dick, or Harry

A common, undistinguished person; any manner of person, indiscriminately. (Usually in the form "(just) any Tom, Dick, or Harry.") You don't want just any Tom, Dick, or Harry coming to your performance, but then you don't want to limit the amount of business you might bring in, either. Kate's being very selective as to who gets invited to the wedding, as she doesn't want Tom, Dick, or Harry turning up.
See also: harry

peeping Tom

A man who secretly observes women undressing or engaging in sexual intercourse. Unless you want to be a target for peeping Toms, you better get curtains for your bedroom windows soon.
See also: peep, tom

an Uncle Tom

A derisive term for a black person who is submissive or servile to white people. The phrase refers to the titular faithful black servant in Harriet Beecher Stowe's novel Uncle Tom's Cabin. He was once a passionate activist, but he's become an Uncle Tom.
See also: tom, uncle

every Tom, Dick, and Harry

Every kind of common, undistinguished person; anyone at all, indiscriminately. You don't want every Tom, Dick, and Harry coming to your performance, but then you don't want to limit the amount of business you might bring in, either. Kate's being very selective as to who gets invited to the wedding, as she doesn't want every Tom, Dick, and Harry turning up.
See also: and, every, harry

Tom, Dick, and Harry

Common, undistinguished people; any manner of person, indiscriminately. (Usually in the form "every Tom, Dick, and Harry.") You don't want Tom, Dick, and Harry coming to your performance, but then you don't want to limit the amount of business you might bring in, either. Kate's being very selective as to who gets invited to the wedding, as she doesn't want Tom, Dick, and Harry to end up coming.
See also: and, harry

(every) Tom, Dick, and Harry

 and any Tom, Dick, and Harry
Fig. everyone, without discrimination; ordinary people. (Not necessarily males.) The golf club is very exclusive. They don't let any Tom, Dick, or Harry join. Mary's sending out very few invitations. She doesn't want every Tom, Dick, and Harry turning up.
See also: and, harry

every Tom, Dick, and Harry

Also, every mother's son; every man Jack. Everyone, all ordinary individuals, as in This model should appeal to every Tom, Dick, and Harry. The use of masculine names in this way dates from Shakespeare's time (he used Tom, Dick, and Francis in 1 Henry IV), but the current one dates from the early 1800s. The two variants are largely British usage but occasionally are used in America. The first is recorded as early as 1583, whereas the second dates from the first half of the 1800s.
See also: and, every, harry

peeping Tom

A person who secretly watches others, especially for sexual gratification; a voyeur. For example, The police caught a peeping Tom right outside their house. This expression, first recorded in 1796, alludes to the legend of the tailor Tom, the only person to watch the naked Lady Godiva as she rode by and who was struck blind for this sin.
See also: peep, tom

every Tom, Dick, and Harry

or

every Tom, Dick, or Harry

People say every Tom, Dick, and Harry or every Tom, Dick, or Harry to talk about many different people, especially people they do not think are special or important. These days, the hotel is letting in every Tom, Dick and Harry. Note: This expression is very variable, for example, any can be used instead of every, and Harriet and other names are sometimes used instead of Harry. You cannot sell a gun to any Tom Dick or Harry, can you? Any Tom, Dick or Harriet can put on a jacket and say, `I'll be a producer.' Note: All of these names used to be very common, and so they began to be used to refer to ordinary people in general.
See also: and, every, harry

Tom Swifty

A punning word game. Tom Swift was the hero of a series of boys' adventure books first published in 1910. Author Victor Apppleton rarely used the word “said” without adding adverbs, a style that someone turned into a word game in which punsters add adverbs that suit what Tom is saying. Classic examples of Tom Swiftys (or Swifties) are “Sesame,” said Tom openly; “I only use one herb when I cook,” said Tom sagely; and “I swallowed some of the glass from that broken window,” Tom said painfully.
See also: tom
References in periodicals archive ?
The general public and TOMS will determine the winners through online voting between March 4 and April 12, 2013 and the top 50 most-voted entries will be announced on April 22.
Previously available only to TOMS employees, Giving Trips to be taken through the TOMS Ticket to Give program will provide winners with the experience giving One for One (TM) first-hand.
Our Foundation was fortunate enough to help hundreds of families who evacuated to the Shreveport area, but we always wanted to do something in New Orleans when the timing was right," said Toms.
Previously available just to TOMS employees, the Giving Trips taken through the TOMS Ticket to Give program will enable winners to experience giving One for One[TM] first-hand.
Fighting frustration from the previous day, when something alerted ``Mo'' to their presence, the two men mustered patience and determination as they waited for the trophy tom.
We have some new and exciting promotional plans together that will help expand Humana's growth through the impact of the company's PGA TOUR sponsorship," said Toms.
The idea is to donate the money that you might have spent on a fancier dinner to charity,'' said Stuart Tom, a Valley resident of 11 years.
Toms River, which finished 5-0, is the first American winner since Long Beach in 1993.
My goal for the day was to finish in the top 24 so I'd get to come back next year,'' Toms said.
The following business persons have agreed to serve on the local Toms River Board:
Tom's of Maine founder and president Tom Chappell, and director of corporate communications Tom Janenda, found Siegel & Gale's brand positioning so compelling that made it the centerpiece of an aggressive growth strategy, including their first-ever television campaign.
Founded in Kennebunk, Maine by Tom and Kate Chappell in 1970, Tom's of Maine is the leading creator of safe, effective Natural Care products that work -- for consumers, the environment, and communities.
According to police, her motive in killing her father, Tom Lannert, was money.
This time around, Tom Roach, the San Francisco cookie-maker whose custom-created Clinton Cookie was a big hit with the First Family at the 1993 festivities, will be shipping 20,000 of his unique and many-flavored cookies to Washington next weekend, 5,000 more than last time.