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Related to pricking: pricking out

autem prickear

obsolete One who dissents from the teachings of any given denomination of the (Christian) church. "Autem" is an obsolete slang word for church, and "prick-eared" was a slang term often applied to puritans, who dissented from the Church of England. Ah, let the autem prickears go and form their own church rather than change our own.
See also: autem

never a rose without a/the prick

There is rarely a good or positive thing, event, or circumstance that is not accompanied by something negative or unpleasant (i.e., just as a rose has thorns). A: "I can't believe the amount of taxes I have to pay on my lottery winnings!" B: "Never a rose without the prick, eh?"
See also: never, prick, rose, without

policy of pin pricks

A government policy that is regarded as particularly petty. The phrase was first applied to tense relations between England and France at the end of the 19th century. How long do we have to suffer under this policy of pin pricks before they finally repeal it?
See also: of, pin, policy, prick

be like a spare prick at a wedding

slang To feel awkward and out of place at an event. Primarily heard in UK. I don't know anyone here, so I've been like a spare prick at a wedding, just standing in the corner by myself.
See also: like, prick, spare, wedding

prick up its ears

 and prick up one's ears
Fig. [for an animal or a person] to become attentive. (The animal will adjust its ears toward the sound.) The sound made the dog prick its ears up. When Fred heard his name, he pricked up his ears. She pricked her ears up when she heard her name.
See also: ear, prick, up

prick your ears up

also prick up your ears
to listen carefully If you hear my name mentioned, prick up your ears – I want to know what you find out.
See also: ear, prick, up

kick against the pricks

  (British & Australian literary)
to fight against people in authority People in this country tend to follow rather than lead. It takes courage to kick against the pricks.
See also: kick, prick

prick somebody's conscience

to make someone feel guilty Seeing pictures of starving children pricks my conscience, but I rarely give money to charity.
See also: conscience, prick

prick your ears up

to start to listen carefully to what someone is saying, often because you think you may find out something interesting
Usage notes: Many animals prick up (= raise) their ears when they hear something.
Eve pricked her ears up when she heard her name being mentioned.
See also: ear, prick, up

be like a spare prick at a wedding

  (British taboo, humorous)
to feel silly because you are present at an event but no one needs you and no one is talking to you Everyone else there had come with their partners and I was left feeling like a spare prick at a wedding.
See also: like, prick, spare, wedding

prick up one's ears

Listen carefully, pay close attention, as in When she heard them mention her boyfriend she pricked up her ears. This term alludes to horses raising their ears at a sudden noise. [Late 1500s]
See also: ear, prick, up


1. n. the penis. (Usually objectionable.) He held his hands over his prick and ran for the bedroom.
2. n. a stupid or obnoxious male. (Usually objectionable.) You stupid prick! Get out of here!

prick up (one's) ears

To listen with attentive interest.
See also: ear, prick, up
References in periodicals archive ?
After pricking out, water the seedlings with a Cheshunt compound to help prevent damping-off disease.
After 50 minutes, GluCall gives a beeping sound signaling the user to input his or her blood sample for glucose reading, using the conventional pricking method.
I still go back to the cells and the individual pricking out, making a large hole to ensure the entire root systems drop down.
The pricking frequency ultimately proved so low that Perrimon has abandoned vortex mixing -- at least for now.
However, the usual invasive method for the measurement of glucose, based on frequent finger pricking, is highly uncomfortable and is not feasible to implement frequently, calling for a non-invasive alternative.
Washington, Nov 10 (ANI): Scientists are developing an electrochemical sensor device that has the potential to measure blood sugar levels from tears instead of blood, an advance that could save millions of diabetes patients from painful pricking tests.
Pricking out, transferring seedlings from their original container to another one where they have more room to develop, is a delicate operation.
CORONATION STAKES winner Maids Causeway will undergo a scan this week after it emerged she pulled a hip muscle as well as pricking a foot when defeating Karen's Caper at York on Friday, writes Jon Lees.
KEEN gardener Jeanne Harris died from a flesh-eating infection after pricking her finger on a rose, an inquest heard yesterday.
For food allergy and food intolerance, a unique collection kit is used by simply pricking the end of the finger to collect the tiny sample of blood required for testing.
New Delhi, Mar 6 (ANI): A 22-year-old kindergarten teacher in China has reportedly confessed to pricking 63 students, aged between 3 and 6 years with a syringe as a method to discipline them.
A TOILET attendant faces a three-month wait to learn if he has HIV/Aids after pricking himself on a dirty needle.
A DOCTOR won pounds 465,000 damages after pricking her finger on a needle left on a hospital trolley.
who have diabetes and monitor their blood-glucose level by finger pricking.