pearl(redirected from pearls)
Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Medical, Acronyms, Encyclopedia.
Related to pearls: Pearls Before Swine
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
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.
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?
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.
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.
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.”