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Related to pricks: kick against the pricks

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 ?
7] has shown that the FreeStyle Libre System is clinically proven to be accurate, stable and consistent over 14 days without the need for finger prick calibration.
1]A finger prick test using a blood glucose meter is required during times of rapidly changing glucose levels when interstitial fluid glucose levels may not accurately reflect blood glucose levels or if hypoglycaemia or impending hypoglycaemia is reported by the System or when symptoms do not match the System readings [sup.
This demonstrates that previous painful experiences with needles enhance unpleasantness of pain when viewing needle pricks.
She further stated that, "because viewing a needle prick leads to enhanced pain perception as well as to enhanced autonomic nervous system activity, we've provided empirical evidence in favour of the common advice not to look at the needle prick when receiving an injection.
To detect nitrile hypersensitivity, "we came up with a new skin prick test," he said.
After that, my father, who was a prick, became, as I remember, a screamer who screamed over and over that together we'd ruined his life.
Kicking the Pricks isn't Jarman at his best, but he's never dull.
researchers unveiled a blood sugar meter that doesn't require skin pricks and reported progress toward insulin nasal sprays and pills.
The home test should not be used by hemophiliacs or by people who take medicine to thin blood because of the possibility of excessive bleeding from the finger prick.
5) Baillee Ford, 9, pricks her finger to measure her blood sugar level at Brookside Elementary School in Oak Park; she has tested herself since she was 6.
Lemon pricks face, arms and hands with sharply pointed spears.
The West Hills third-grader pricks her own finger six times a day to check her blood sugar levels.
Four or more pricks to her finger to monitor her glucose level.