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straight arrow

An honest, ethical person who makes good decisions. Kristen was often mocked by her peers for being a straight arrow who always followed the rules and stayed out of trouble.
See also: arrow, straight

slings and arrows

Criticisms or judgments. Now that you're the boss, get ready to face slings and arrows from everyone who is unhappy with your company.
See also: and, arrow, sling

*straight as an arrow

 
1. Cliché [of something] very straight. (*Also: as ~.) The road to my house is as straight as an arrow, so it should be very easy to follow.
2. . Cliché [of someone] honest or forthright. (Straight here means honest. *Also: as ~.) Tom is straight as an arrow. I'd trust him with anything.
See also: arrow, straight

*swift as an arrow

 and *swift as the wind; *swift as thought
very fast. (*Also: as ~.) The new intercity train is swift as an arrow. You won't have to wait for me long; I'll be there, swift as thought.
See also: arrow, swift

straight as an arrow

Honest, genuine, as in You can trust Pat with the money; he's straight as an arrow. This simile alludes to the arrow's undeviating flight through the air. [Second half of 1900s]
See also: arrow, straight

a straight arrow

mainly AMERICAN
If you describe someone as a straight arrow, you mean that they are very conventional, honest, and moral. I was very much a product of my environment. I was very traditional, a real straight arrow in lots of ways. Several friends describe Mr. Menendez as `a straight arrow' who rarely drank and was close to his family. Note: You can use straight-arrow before a noun. It was impossible to imagine such a well-scrubbed, straight-arrow group of young people rioting over anything.
See also: arrow, straight

slings and arrows

mainly BRITISH, LITERARY
Slings and arrows are bad things that happen to you and that are not your fault. She seemed generally unable to cope with the slings and arrows of life. He endured the usual slings and arrows of a life lived in the media spotlight. Note: This expression comes from the line the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune, in Shakespeare's play `Hamlet'. People sometimes use this line in full. Ah well, we all have to bear the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune. Note: This is a quotation from a speech in Shakespeare's play `Hamlet', where Hamlet is considering whether or not to kill himself: `To be, or not to be - that is the question; Whether 'tis nobler in the mind to suffer The slings and arrows of outrageous fortune, Or to take arms against a sea of troubles, And by opposing end them?' (Act 3, Scene 1)
See also: and, arrow, sling

straight as an arrow

1. If someone is as straight as an arrow, they are completely honest. Hardworking, straight as an arrow, he had been proud of never taking a bribe.
2. If something is as straight as an arrow, it is completely straight. We drove up a mile-long avenue, straight as an arrow and lined with beech trees.
See also: arrow, straight

an arrow in the quiver

one of a number of resources or strategies that can be drawn on or followed.
See also: arrow, quiver

arrow of time (or time's arrow)

the direction of travel from past to future in time considered as a physical dimension.
See also: arrow, of, time

a straight arrow

an honest or genuine person. North American
See also: arrow, straight

slings and arrows

adverse factors or circumstances.
This expression is taken from the ‘to be or not to be’ speech in Hamlet: ‘Whether tis nobler in the mind to suffer the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune, Or to take arms against a sea of troubles, And by opposing end them’.
2001 Ian J. Deary Intelligence The genetic lottery and the environmental slings and arrows influence the level of some of our mental capabilities.
See also: and, arrow, sling

the ˌslings and ˈarrows (of something)

the problems and difficulties (of something): As a politician you have to deal with the slings and arrows of criticism from the newspapers.This comes from Shakespeare’s play Hamlet: ‘the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune’.
See also: and, arrow, sling

(as) straight as an ˈarrow

in a straight line or direction: You can’t get lost if you follow this track. It runs as straight as an arrow through the middle of the forest.
See also: arrow, straight

straight arrow

n. an honest person; a law-abiding citizen. (see also straight shooter.) Willy is really a straight arrow at heart—as long as he’s not around Max. Max is not a straight arrow. Slime is more like it.
See also: arrow, straight

slings and arrows

Difficulties or hardships.
See also: and, arrow, sling

straight arrow

A conventional and ethical person. As morally straight as an arrow, that person is likely to be dull. As used in colleges during the mid- 20th century, a straight arrow wasn't the type who'd get drunk or use drugs. If female, her necking, petting, or going further was out of the question.
See also: arrow, straight
References in classic literature ?
We made a long march the remaining part of the day, and, rested at night with five hundred guards on each side of me, half with torches, and half with bows and arrows, ready to shoot me if I should offer to stir.
Well was it for the latter that the Forester's foot turned on a twig at the critical instant, for as it was the arrow whizzed by his ear so close as to take a stray strand of his hair with it.
Listen to me you suitors, who persist in abusing the hospitality of this house because its owner has been long absent, and without other pretext than that you want to marry me; this, then, being the prize that you are contending for, I will bring out the mighty bow of Ulysses, and whomsoever of you shall string it most easily and send his arrow through each one of twelve axes, him will I follow and quit this house of my lawful husband, so goodly, and so abounding in wealth.
She turned it from his skin as a mother whisks a fly from off her child when it is sleeping sweetly; she guided it to the part where the golden buckles of the belt that passed over his double cuirass were fastened, so the arrow struck the belt that went tightly round him.
He could kill him at his leisure later, when the bow and deadly arrows were laid aside.
I will lay by my trusty bow and eke my arrows, and if thou darest abide my coming, I will go and cut a cudgel to test thy manhood withal.
I caused them to fit arrows to their bows for the first time.
The Sagoth had never before seen a bow and arrow, but of a sudden it must have swept over his dull intellect that the thing I held toward him was some sort of engine of destruction, for he too came to a halt, simultaneously swinging his hatchet for a throw.
Fewer and fewer were the arrows that replied to the guns of the raiders, and at last Achmet Zek felt safe in ordering an assault.
Did one forge ahead an arrow found his heart; did one lag behind he never again was seen alive; did one stumble to one side, even for a bare moment from the sight of his fellows, he did not return--and always when they came upon the bodies of their dead they found those terrible arrows driven with the accuracy of superhuman power straight through the victim's heart.
Sometimes he was compelled to leave the trail and creep and climb through the jungle so as to approach the man-traps from behind; and on one occasion, in spite of his precaution, a spring-bow was discharged, the flying arrow barely clipping the shoulder of one of the waiting Poonga-Poonga boys.
He had a nice little bow in his hand, but it was quite spoiled by the rain, and the tints of his many-colored arrows ran one into the other.
A rush was made to the shore, followed by a discharge of fifty arrows and a few fusees, and, on the part of several braves, there was a plain manifestation of a desire to plunge into the water, in order to punish the temerity of their insolent foe.
Arrow, a brown old sailor with earrings in his ears and a squint.
Just as the arrow left the bow, the Vice-Warden trod heavily on the toe of the Baron, who yelled with the pain.