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Clumps of dust. Please dust this room, and be sure to get the curly dirt that's gathered under the couch.
have (one) by the short and curlies
To have complete control or dominance over someone; to have someone at one's mercy. "The short and curlies" refers to the hairs on one's neck, despite popular misconceptions. With all that evidence against you, I'd say the police have you by the short and curlies. Sometimes, I think Mark's wife has him by the short and curlies.
curly dirtand house moss; slut's wool
puffs of dirt and dust. How long has it been since you swept under this bed? There's a mountain of curly dirt under here! No one's been in this room for an age. Look at all the cobwebs and curly dirt. She was a terrible housekeeper. House moss collected in all the corners of her rooms.
have someone by the short and curliesor
have someone by the short hairsBRITISH, INFORMAL, RUDE
If someone has you by the short and curlies or by the short hairs, they have you completely in their power. The union's chief negotiator last night said: `We had the company by the short and curlies.' The managers knew they had us by the short hairs. Note: In this expression, `short and curlies' may refer to a person's pubic hair, to hair on the back of their neck, or to the hair in their beard.
get (or have) someone by the short and curlies (or short hairs)have complete control of a person. informal
n. a bald person, almost always a male. (Also a jocular term of address.) Well, Curly, looks like you got your dome sunburned!