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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

kick against the pricks

To resist, protest, or fight against those in positions of authority. Our generation had to live through the Thatcher era—we were defined by kicking against the pricks!
See also: kick, prick

prick (one's) conscience

To cause someone niggling feelings of guilt or remorse. It pricked my conscience to see my brother being led away in handcuffs, but I know it was the right thing to call the cops on him. Their promotional material is carefully crafted to prick the conscience of anyone who picks it up.
See also: conscience, prick

prick (one's) ears up

To pay sudden and close attention to something someone is saying. Be sure to prick your ears up if anything about the case is mentioned. I can't help but prick my ears up if I hear someone say my name—even if they aren't talking about me.
See also: ear, prick, up

prick up (one's) ears

To pay sudden and close attention to something someone is saying. Be sure to prick up your ears if anything about the case is mentioned. I can't help but prick up my ears if I hear someone say my name—even if they aren't talking about me.
See also: ear, prick, up

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 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

prick up your ears

If someone pricks up their ears, they start listening eagerly, because they suddenly hear an interesting sound or piece of information. Olivia pricked up her ears at the mention of James. Note: You can also say that someone's ears prick up. My ears pricked up when I heard her talk about food. Note: When animals such as dogs hear a sudden or unfamiliar noise, they prick up their ears; that is, their ears become more upright so that they can hear the sound better.
See also: ear, prick, up

like a spare prick at a wedding

If someone is like a spare prick at a wedding, they are not needed and nobody pays attention to them. I sat on the edge of a bench feeling like a spare prick at a wedding. Note: `Prick' is a slang word for penis.
See also: like, prick, spare, wedding

kick against the pricks

If you kick against the pricks, you show your opposition to people in authority. He was just an awkward young man kicking against the pricks. Note: This expression occurs in the Bible (Acts 9:5). It refers to cattle kicking out when people try to drive them by jabbing them with sticks.
See also: kick, prick

kick against the pricks

hurt yourself by persisting in useless resistance or protest.
In the Bible, on the road to Damascus Saul heard the words: ‘It is hard for thee to kick against the pricks’ (Acts 9:5). The image is that of an ox or other beast of burden fruitlessly kicking out when it is pricked by a goad or spur.
See also: kick, prick

prick up your ears

1 (especially of a horse or dog) make the ears stand erect when on the alert. 2 (of a person) become suddenly attentive.
See also: ear, prick, up

a spare prick at a wedding

a person who is out of place or has no role in a particular situation. British vulgar slang
See also: prick, spare, wedding

a pricking in your thumbs

a premonition or foreboding.
This expression comes from a speech by the Second Witch in Shakespeare's Macbeth: ‘By the pricking of my thumbs, Something wicked this way comes’.
See also: prick, thumb

ˌkick against the ˈpricks

harm yourself by protesting when it is useless to do so: People in prison learn very quickly not to kick against the pricks. If they complain, the prison officers make their lives very difficult.This idiom comes from the Bible and refers to the fact that an animal such as an ox may kick when it is pricked (= pushed with a stick) to make it move, but will still have to move.
See also: kick, prick

prick your ˈconscience


your ˈconscience pricks you

make you feel guilty about something; feel guilty about something: Her conscience pricked her as she lied to her sister.
See also: conscience, prick

ˌprick up your ˈears


your ˈears prick up

start to listen carefully: ‘And the winner is ...’ He pricked up his ears. ‘... Michael Poole.’
This expression refers to the way dogs, horses and other animals raise their ears when they listen with attention.
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.