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caught with (one's) hand in the cookie jar

To have been caught in the act or attempt of some wrongdoing, especially one involving bribery or the illicit exploitation of one's position of power or authority. The senator was long accused of insider trading, and he was finally caught with his hand in the cookie jar when his conversation with a Wall Street executive was leaked to the media.
See also: caught, cookie, hand, jar

sharp cookie

A particularly smart, witty, or clever person. Dan: "I'm having a heck of a time doing my taxes, I just don't understand it at all." Steve: "You should get in touch with my uncle, he's one sharp cookie!" We're always looking to hire sharp cookies like you.
See also: cookie, sharp

that's how the cookie crumbles

There is nothing we can do about the way things have unfolded, especially bad ones, so there is no reason to be upset about it. (A variant of the more common "That's the way the cookie crumbles.") I'm pretty gutted about not getting into the grad school program I wanted, but hey, that's just how the cookie crumbles.
See also: cookie, crumble, how

Oreo cookie

offensive slang A derogatory term for a black person whose behavior is regarded as more stereotypically white than black. The term derives from the fact that Oreo cookies are black on the outside and white on the inside. Primarily heard in US.
See also: cookie, Oreo

smart cookie

A clever and intelligent person. Don't underestimate Cindy's intelligence—she's one smart cookie!
See also: cookie, smart

what do you want, a cookie

A sarcastic response to one who is excited about or seeks praise for a minor or insigificant accomplishment. OK, so you hung some Christmas decorations—what do you want, a cookie?
See also: cookie

tough cookie

A strong, determined person who is not easily intimidated, discouraged, or defeated. Our principal was a little lady, but she was one tough cookie! She had a difficult childhood, but she's a tough cookie. I know she'll be a success.
See also: cookie, tough

That's the way the ball bounces.

 and That's the way the cookie crumbles.; That's the way the mop flops.
Prov. You cannot control everything that happens to you.; You should accept the bad things that happen. Bill: I bought a hundred lottery tickets this week, but I still didn't win! Alan: That's the way the ball bounces. I was planning to have fun on my vacation, but I've been sick the whole time. I guess that's just the way the cookie crumbles. That's tough, but that's the way the mop flops.
See also: ball, bounce, way

tough cookie

a person who is difficult to deal with. He's a tough cookie, but I can handle him. There was a tough cookie in here this morning who demanded to see the manager.
See also: cookie, tough


a cookie-cutter building or plan is exactly similar to many others of the same type (always before noun) The architects were determined that it wouldn't be just another cookie-cutter mall. Management too often uses a cookie-cutter approach to solving problems.

a smart cookie

someone who is clever and good at dealing with difficult situations If anyone can make this company succeed, it's Kathy - she's one smart cookie.
See also: cookie, smart

a tough cookie

  (American & Australian informal)
someone who is very determined to do what they want and who usually succeeds even in difficult situations We're talking about a woman who brought up six children on her own - she's one tough cookie.
See also: cookie, tough

That's the way the cookie crumbles.

  (British, American & Australian informal) also That's the way the ball bounces. (American informal)
something that you say which means that bad things sometimes happen and there is nothing you can do to prevent it, so it is not worth becoming upset about it I can't believe they chose Sam for the job and not me. Ah well, that's the way the cookie crumbles.
See be laughing all the way to the bank, one way or the other, There's more than one way to skin a cat, claw your way back from, know which way to turn, open the way for, pave the way for, pay its way, pay way, point the way, see which way the cat jumps, see your way to, smooth the way for, wing way, see which way the wind is blowing
See also: cookie, crumble, way

hand in the till, with one's

Also, with one's fingers in the till; have one's hand in the cookie jar. Stealing from one's employer. For example, He was caught with his hand in the till and was fired immediately, or They suspected she had her hand in the cookie jar but were waiting for more evidence. The noun till has been used for a money box or drawer since the 15th century; cookie jar, perhaps alluding to the "sweets" of money, dates only from about 1940.
See also: hand

that's how the ball bounces

Also, that's the way the ball bounces or the cookie crumbles . That is the way matters have worked out and nothing can be done about it. For example, I'm sorry you got fired but that's how the ball bounces, or They wanted a baby girl but got a third boy-that's the way the cookie crumbles. These phrases allude to an odd bounce or a crumbled cookie that cannot be put back together. [Colloquial; mid-1900s]
See also: ball, bounce, how

toss one's cookies

Vomit, as in A roller-coaster ride may make her toss her cookies. This slangy euphemism dates from the first half of the 1900s.
See also: cooky, toss

cookie pusher

1. n. a bootlicker; someone who flatters other people for self-serving motives. When you’ve got a whole office full of cookie pushers, there’s always someone to take you to lunch.
2. n. a lazy do-nothing. I’m just looking for a cookie pusher to fire today.
See also: cookie, pusher

smart cookie

n. a clever person. She’s really a smart cookie if you give her a chance.
See also: cookie, smart

That’s the way the cookie crumbles

sent. That is life.; That is typical of the unequal share of things you are likely to get in life. I lost my job. Oh, well. That’s the way the cookie crumbles.
See also: cookie, crumble, way

tough cookie

n. a tough person. There was a tough cookie in here this morning who demanded to see the manager.
See also: cookie, tough
References in periodicals archive ?
Shape dough into 1-inch balls; roll in granulated sugar and place 2 inches apart on ungreased cookie sheets.
com), an online newspaper, has been seeking to obtain the cookie files of the local government for a number of years, claiming that the cookie files are public records subject to the state's open records law.
Not only does this cookie utility rid your system of unwanted cookies, it also sweeps out other unwanted debris, newsgroup activity, cache files and history databases.
Cookie Man operates 24 hours a day, seven days a week and the Proteus is solely responsible for all their labelling requirements.
With real goodness baked into every bite, the American Collection of chocolate chunk and soft baked cookies come in 15 varieties and are the perfect sweet snack retreats, beckoning cookie aficionados to take a trip (or two
We believe the best way to someone's heart is through a Cookie Cake, or any treat from Great American Cookies.
Dollar sales for everyday cookies, specialty cookies and cookie platters also increased 6.
On Halloween morning, consider making the kids cute pancakes using metal Halloween cookie cutters (not plastic, as they'll melt) as baking molds on a griddle.
The 1st American Cookie Lady: Recipes from a 1917 Cookie Diary offers all 208 recipes of Anna "Cookie" Covington, first recorded between 1917 and 1920.
The second kind were large cookies--a single cookie weighed 2 or 3 ounces and had a diameter of 4 inches or more.
If you're looking for a fat-free cookie, start here.
Our reputation for delicious cookies, Cookie Cakes and friendly customer service makes our stores stand out among the competition," said David Kaiser, vice president, Great American Cookies.
Miller packages the cookies in a 1-pound carry-on cookie tin ($15.