pearl(redirected from pearling)
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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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
a pearl of wisdom
If you describe something that someone has said or written as a pearl of wisdom, you mean that it sounds very wise or helpful. I tried to attract the attention of a passing waitress and waited for Josh's next pearl of wisdom. We here in Arkansas are always so grateful for all the pearls of wisdom that may fall from Mr. Greenberg's lips. Note: People usually use this expression humorously, to suggest that in fact they think the person is saying something very obvious, boring or silly.
cast pearls before swineLITERARY
If you cast pearls before swine, you offer something valuable to someone who is not good enough or clever enough to appreciate it. He has written many fine pieces on the subject, although one suspects he is casting pearls before swine. Note: Verbs such as throw and toss are sometimes used instead of cast. He should know better than to throw pearls before swine. Note: You can also call something good that is not appreciated pearls before swine. The Musical Times, she tells me, is written for those with a genuine understanding of the finer points. I certainly hope so, or else my piece on Rossini will be pearls before swine. Note: This expression comes from the Bible, from the Sermon on the Mount, when Jesus is giving His followers advice on how they should live: `Give not that which is holy unto dogs, neither cast ye your pearls before swine, lest they trample them under their feet, and turn again and rend you.' (Matthew 7:6)
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.”