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all duck or no dinner

Of a situation, action, or effort resulting in either total success or total failure; all or nothing. We've got one last chance to secure an investor for the company, so it's all duck or no dinner with this meeting!
See also: all, dinner, duck

make a dog's dinner (of something)

To make a mess of or completely ruin something. I thought I could trust Jim to finish the business proposal, but he made a dog's dinner of the whole thing!
See also: dinner, make

rubber chicken dinner

A dinner served at a large catered event, especially a political or corporate fundraising event, in which many people must be served simultaneously and the quality of food suffers as a result. ("Rubber chicken" is sometimes hyphenated.) I'll tell you, though: more than the long hours on the road, the repetitive speeches, or the manic workload, I cannot stand the rubber chicken dinners when I'm on the campaign trail. We really wanted to throw the whole "rubber-chicken dinner" association out the window for our next charity drive, so we've partnered with a local co-op kitchen to bring fresh, home-cooked meals to the table.
See also: chicken, dinner, rubber

like a dog's dinner

1. Very messy and/or disorganized. Primarily heard in UK, Australia. I really need to clean out my closet—it's starting to look like a dog's breakfast in there.
2. Of a person's attire, very showy in a way that attracts negative attention. Look at that fool, all done up like a dog's dinner. Who told him that patterned suit was a good idea?
See also: dinner, like

be done like a (dog's) dinner

To fail or lose. Primarily heard in Australia. Your team will be done like a dog's dinner if they play against the all-star team. I just finished my paper, but class starts in five minutes, and the printer isn't working, so I'm done like a dinner.
See also: dinner, done, like

Dinner is served.

It is time to eat dinner. Please come to the table. (As if announced by a butler; often jocular.) Sue: Dinner is served. Mary (aside): Aren't we fancy tonight? "Dinner is served," said Bob, rather formally for a barbecue.
See also: dinner, serve

take someone out to dinner

to take someone as one's guest to a meal at a restaurant. Can I take you out to dinner sometime? We will take out the visitors to dinner tonight.
See also: dinner, out, take

be done like a (dog's) dinner

  (Australian informal)
to be completely defeated Whatever possessed her to play tennis against Sue? She was done like a dinner.
See also: dinner, done, like

a dog's breakfast/dinner

  (British & Australian informal)
something that has been done very badly She tried to cut her hair and made a real dog's breakfast of it. You should have seen the ceiling after he'd finished painting it. It was a complete dog's breakfast.
See also: breakfast

done up/dressed up like a dog's dinner

  (British & Australian)
wearing clothes which make you look silly when you have tried to dress for a formal occasion There she was, all dressed up like a dog's dinner, in a ridiculous frilly shirt and a skirt that was far too short.
See also: dinner, done, like, up

have [done/seen/had etc.] more something than somebody has had hot dinners

  (British & Australian)
to have done, seen, had etc. something many times, so that you have had more experience of it than the person you are talking to Young man, I've been to more football matches than you've had hot dinners, so you don't have to explain the rules of the game to me.
See also: dinner, have, hot, more


and dinner basket
n. the belly; the stomach. I hit him, pow, right in the breadbasket. I have a little pain in the dinner basket.

dinner basket

See also: basket, dinner

TV dinner

n. roadkill; a turkey vulture dinner. Whoops. I just made a TV dinner out of a squirrel!
See also: dinner
References in classic literature ?
For hereby Flask's dinner was badly jammed in point of time.
He might be able to join them in the evening, but certainly not to dinner.
And with these grave thoughts for grace let us sit down to dinner.
The Psychologist was the only person besides the Doctor and myself who had attended the previous dinner.
And ye'll sing us 'Over the hills and far away,' after dinner, wonna ye?
If you wish to thoroughly enjoy your dinner, take a thirty-mile country walk after breakfast and don't touch anything till you get back.
Instead, he reached down his tobacco-pouch from a shelf of the dresser, put it into his pocket and said: "I guess I can make out to be home for dinner.
Being a well-bred man he had not (like another recent ducal visitor) come to the dinner in a shooting-jacket; but his evening clothes were so shabby and baggy, and he wore them with such an air of their being homespun, that (with his stooping way of sitting, and the vast beard spreading over his shirt-front) he hardly gave the appearance of being in dinner attire.
Daddy, mummy says, do stop talking and come and eat your dinner.
But before he had finished reading, a stentorian major-domo announced that dinner was ready
These short, but clearly marked, periods of separation between the sexes were always used for an intimate postscript to what had been said at dinner, the sense of being women together coming out most strongly when the male sex was, as if by some religious rite, secluded from the female.
Persons got themselves introduced to him in order to invite him to dinner.
When we gave a dinner at home, we had gravy soup, turbot and lobster-sauce, haunch of mutton, boiled fowls and tongue, lukewarm oyster-patties and sticky curry for side-dishes; wild duck, cabinet-pudding, jelly, cream and tartlets.
It is the first dinner we give, on our return from our wedding tour" (the lady wrote); "and you will only be introduced to a few of my husband's old friends.
So the Fox invited the Stork to dinner, and for a joke put nothing before her but some soup in a very shallow dish.