pearl


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Related to pearl: Pearl Harbor

pearl-clutching

1. adjective Scandalized or mortified about some event, situation, thing, etc., that was once salacious but is now relatively common; morally conservative, stuffy, prudish, or unfashionable. Those pearl-clutching old prudes gave me dirty looks as I walked past in my cut-off jeans, but I don't give a hoot what they think about me.
2. noun The practice or habit of reacting in a scandalized or mortified manner to once-salacious but now relatively common things, events, situations, etc. I have to say that I am sick and tired of all the pearl-clutching going on amongst parents. Look, our kids are growing up in a different social environment than when we were in school, and it's high time we learned to deal with that!

clutch (one's)/the pearls

To react in a scandalized or mortified manner to once-salacious but now relatively common things, events, situations, etc. Parents should try not to clutch the pearls every time their teenagers come out of their room dressed outrageously—it only makes them want to push the envelope even further. My mother would always clutch her pearls whenever I began telling her about a new boyfriend, so eventually I stopped filling her in altogether.
See also: clutch, pearl

pearl-clutch

To react in a scandalized or mortified manner to once-salacious but now relatively common things, events, situations, etc. Parents should try not to pearl-clutch every time their teenagers come out of their room dressed outrageously—it only makes them want to push the envelope even further. My mother would always pearl-clutch whenever I began telling her about a new boyfriend, so eventually I stopped filling her in altogether.

mother of pearl

An iridescent substance that naturally appears in certain mollusk shells. It is often used as a decorative material for items like buttons and jewelry. The mother of pearl earrings you gave me for my birthday are so beautiful!
See also: mother, of, pearl

pearl necklace

vulgar slang A term for the spots of semen left on a woman's neck and chest after a man ejaculates between her breasts.
See also: pearl

pearl of wisdom

A piece of valuable advice. The phrase is sometimes used sarcastically. The old woman shared her pearls of wisdom with the struggling teen, in the hopes of making him feel better. Thanks for the pearl of wisdom, buddy, but your suggestion is ridiculous.
See also: of, pearl, wisdom

cast (one's) pearls before swine

To present something valuable to one who does not recognize its worth. The phrase originated in the Bible. Most of the time, playing classical music for high schoolers is like casting your pearls before swine. But every so often a few kids appreciate it. I can't believe he gave his brand-new convertible to that bumpkin—talk about casting your pearls before swine.
See also: before, cast, pearl, swine

cast (one's) pearls before swine

Fig. to waste something good on someone who doesn't care about it. (From a biblical quotation.) To sing for them is to cast pearls before swine. To serve them French cuisine is like casting one's pearls before swine.
See also: before, cast, pearl, swine

a pearl of wisdom

an important piece of advice
Usage notes: This phrase is usually used humorously to mean the opposite.
Thank you for that pearl of wisdom, Jerry. Now do you think you could suggest something more useful?
See also: of, pearl, wisdom

cast pearls before swine

  (literary)
to offer something valuable to someone who does not understand that it is valuable Giving him advice is just casting pearls before swine. He doesn't listen.
See also: before, cast, pearl, swine

cast pearls before swine

Give something of value of someone who won't appreciate it, as in The old professor felt that lecturing on Dante to unruly undergraduates would be casting pearls before swine . This term comes from the New Testament (Matthew 7:6), appearing in Tyndale's translation (1526). It was repeated often by writers from Shakespeare to Dickens and remains current.
See also: before, cast, pearl, swine

pearls before swine

Wasting something that is not appreciated. In Matthew 7:6, Jesus warned his followers not to waste time by throwing pearls of wisdom before ungodly swine. When writers Claire Booth Luce and Dorothy Parker simultaneously arrived at a door, Luce stepped back to allow Parker to precede her by saying with a smile, “Age before beauty.” As she walked through the door, Parker replied, “And pearls before swine.”
See also: before, pearl, swine
References in classic literature ?
repeated Pearl, no longer seriously, but laughing and capering about the floor.
She remembered -- betwixt a smile and a shudder -- the talk of the neighbouring townspeople, who, seeking vainly elsewhere for the child's paternity, and observing some of her odd attributes, had given out that poor little Pearl was a demon offspring: such as, ever since old Catholic times, had occasionally been seen on earth, through the agency of their mother's sin, and to promote some foul and wicked purpose.
Go, and do your best, and take the pearls with you.
The Sultan, noticing that his favourite dish of cucumber was placed before him, proceeded to help himself to it, and was amazed to and that the stuffing was of pearls.
Sire," replied the bird, before either the princes or the princess could speak, "surely your Highness cannot be so surprised at beholding a cucumber stuffed with pearls, when you believed without any difficulty that the Sultana had presented you, instead of children, with a dog, a cat, and a log of wood.
There was never a pearl like it in Hikueru, in all the Paumotus, in all the world.
And while Levy and Toriki drank absinthe and chaffered over the pearl, Huru-Huru listened and heard the stupendous price of twenty-five thousand francs agreed upon.
Unable to shake the vision of the pearl from his mind, he was returning to accept Mapuhi's price of a house.
It was Levy, the German Jew, the man who had bought the pearl and carried it away on the Hira.
In the last pocket of all she found it, the first and only pearl he had bought on the voyage.
She tore a strip from her ahu and tied the pearl securely about her neck.
If you had done as I said," charged Tefara, for the thousandth time, "and hidden the pearl and told no one, you would have it now.
Raoul told me today that if you had not sold the pearl to Toriki--"
that if you had not sold the pearl, he would give you five thousand French dollars, which is ten thousand Chili.
And had you found no pearl, would you today owe Toriki the twelve hundred?