marble

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mouthful of marbles

A phrase used to describe the speech of someone who mumbles when talking. I have such a hard time understanding him—he always sounds like he has a mouthful of marbles.
See also: marble, mouthful, of

all the marbles

All possible prizes or rewards. Typically used in the phrase "for all the marbles," which is said when one is on the verge of victory. He is currently in first place, so his final putt is for all the marbles!
See also: all, marble

lose (one's) marbles

To be or become mentally deficient, incompetent, or deranged; to become of unsound mind. My poor grandmother started losing her marbles after she had a stroke. I've been so sleep deprived lately that it feels like I've lost my marbles!
See also: lose, marble

pick up (one's) marbles and go home

To abandon or withdraw from a project, situation, or activity in a petulant manner because one does not like way in which it is progressing. It seems that the governor is ready to pick up his marbles and go home if the state senate isn't willing to increase the funds for the redevelopment scheme. The danger of relying on a private organization to fund a political campaign is that they may pick up their marbles and go home if the candidate doesn't do everything that's in the company's interest.
See also: and, home, marble, pick, up

pick up (one's) marbles and leave

To abandon or withdraw from a project, situation, or activity in a petulant manner because one does not like way in which it is progressing. It seems that the governor is ready to pick up his marbles and leave if the state senate isn't willing to increase the funds for the redevelopment scheme. The danger of relying on a private organization to fund a political campaign is that they may pick up their marbles and leave if the candidate doesn't do everything that's in the company's interest.
See also: and, leave, marble, pick, up

*all the marbles

Fig. all the winnings, spoils, or rewards. (*Typically: end up with ~; get ~; win ~; give someone ~.) Somehow Fred always seems to end up with all the marbles. I don't think he plays fair.
See also: all, marble

*cold as a welldigger's ass (in January)

 and *cold as a welldigger's feet (in January); *cold as a witch's caress; *cold as marble; *cold as a witch's tit; *cold as a welldigger's ears (in January)
very, very cold; chilling. (Use caution with ass. *Also: as ~.) Bill: How's the weather where you are? Tom: Cold as a welldigger's ass in January. By the time I got in from the storm, I was as cold as a welldigger's feet. The car's heater broke, so it's as cold as a welldigger's ears to ride around in it. She gave me a look as cold as a witch's caress.
See also: ass, cold

have all one's marbles

Fig. to have all one's mental faculties; to be mentally sound. (Very often with a negative or said to convey doubt.) I don't think he has all his marbles. Do you think Bob has all his marbles?
See also: all, have, marble

lose (all) one's marbles

 and lose one's mind
Fig. to go crazy; to go out of one's mind. What a silly thing to say! Have you lost your marbles? Look at Sally jumping up and down and screaming. Is she losing all her marbles? I can't seem to remember anything. I think I'm losing my mind.
See also: lose, marble

not have all one's marbles

Fig. not to have all one's mental capacities. John acts as if he doesn't have all his marbles. I'm afraid that I don't have all my marbles all the time.
See also: all, have, marble, not

have all one's buttons

Also, have all one's marbles. Be completely sane and rational. For example, Grandma may be in a wheelchair, but she still has all her buttons, or I'm not sure he has all his marbles. These slangy expressions date from the mid-1800s, as do the antonyms lose or be missing some of one's buttons or marbles , meaning "become (or be) mentally deficient."
See also: all, button, have

lose one's marbles

See also: lose, marble

lose your marbles

INFORMAL
If you lose your marbles, you become crazy. At 83 I haven't lost my marbles and my memory is, thank God, as clear as it ever was. People are talking about him as if he's lost his marbles. Note: You can also say that someone has all their marbles, meaning that they are not crazy. He's in his eighties but he clearly still has all his marbles.
See also: lose, marble

pick up your marbles and go home

AMERICAN
If you pick up your marbles and go home, you leave a situation or activity in which you are involved because you are angry about what is happening. They called it the dirtiest Olympics ever and briefly threatened to pick up their marbles and go home. Note: You usually use this expression to suggest that someone is wrong to do this. Note: The reference here is to a player in a game of marbles who is annoyed about losing and therefore stops playing and takes the marbles away so that nobody else can play either.
See also: and, home, marble, pick, up

lose your marbles

go insane; become irrational or senile. informal
Marbles as a term for ‘a person's mental faculties’ probably originated as early 20th-century American slang. The underlying reference is apparently to the children's game played with multicoloured glass balls.
1998 Spectator At least, that is how I recall the event, but I am losing my marbles.
See also: lose, marble

marble orchard

a cemetery. informal humorous
See also: marble, orchard

pick up your marbles and go home

withdraw petulantly from an activity after having suffered a setback. informal, chiefly US
The image here is of a child who refuses sulkily to continue playing the game of marbles.
See also: and, home, marble, pick, up

lose your ˈmarbles

(informal) become crazy or mentally confused: They say the old man has lost his marbles because of the strange things he’s been saying, but I’m not so sure.
See also: lose, marble

have all one’s marbles

tv. to have all one’s mental faculties; to be mentally sound. (see also lose (all) one’s marbles. Have got can replace have.) I don’t think he has all his marbles.
See also: all, have, marble

lose (all) one’s marbles

tv. to become crazy. (see also have all one’s marbles.) Have you lost all your marbles?
See also: all, lose, marble

lose one’s marbles

verb
See also: lose, marble

marble dome

n. a stupid person. (Someone who has marble where brains should be.) The guy’s a marble dome. He has no knowledge of what’s going on around him.
See also: dome, marble

marble orchard

and Marble City
n. a cemetery. I already bought a little plot in a marble orchard. There is a huge Marble City south of town.
See also: marble, orchard

Marble City

verb
See also: city, marble
References in classic literature ?
To the same time belonged the ebony and bronze doors, the silver statuette at the foot of the stairs, the forged iron balustrade reproducing right up the marble staircase Rita's decorative monogram in its complicated design.
Left by himself, Henry lifted his hand once more to the marble forehead of the figure.
The ceilings were composed of great arches that rose far above her head, and all the walls and floors were of polished marble exquisitely tinted in many colors.
At this stage of the proceedings, a narrow bright red carpet was unrolled and stretched from the top of the marble steps to the curbstone, along the center of the black carpet.
Such further description as may be needed may be kept till we come within sight of its gilded roofs and marble terraces.
Unnumbered waves Have broidered with green moss the marble folds About her feet.
On either side of the yellow marble mantelpiece, in Louis XV.
At a distance, towards the center of the island, he beheld the stately towers of what seemed to be a palace, built of snow-white marble, and rising in the midst of a grove of lofty trees.
I was soon at the entrance of the pensionnat, in a moment I had pulled the bell; in another moment the door was opened, and within appeared a passage paved alternately with black and white marble; the walls were painted in imitation of marble also; and at the far end opened a glass door, through which I saw shrubs and a grass-plat, looking pleasant in the sunshine of the mild spring evening-for it was now the middle of April.
The snows of a New England winter had often supplied him with a species of marble as dazzingly white, at least, as the Parian or the Carrara, and if less durable, yet sufficiently so to correspond with any claims to permanent existence possessed by the boy's frozen statues.
The streets were lined with beautiful houses all built of green marble and studded everywhere with sparkling emeralds.
At length the three brothers came to a castle: and as they passed by the stables they saw fine horses standing there, but all were of marble, and no man was to be seen.
We have visited several of the palaces--immense thick-walled piles, with great stone staircases, tesselated marble pavements on the floors,
Above our heads is a double ogive vault, panelled with wood carving, painted azure, and sown with golden fleurs-de-lis; beneath our feet a pavement of black and white marble, alternating.
But before Pierre could decide what answer he would send, the countess herself in a white satin dressing gown embroidered with silver and with simply dressed hair (two immense plaits twice round her lovely head like a coronet) entered the room, calm and majestic, except that there was a wrathful wrinkle on her rather prominent marble brow.