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prunes and prisms

Intentionally formal and/or prudish speech or action. The phrase originated in Charles Dickens' novel Little Dorrit as an example of proper speech. When you talk to your grandmother, stick to prunes and prisms so that you don't offend her. If you want to become a proper lady, practice saying "prunes and prisms"!
See also: and, prune

prune something away

to cut away something unwanted or unneeded. Please prune the lower branches of the trees away. They are starting to annoy pedestrians. We pruned away the dead branches.
See also: away, prune

prune something of something

to clear, clean, or groom something of something by pruning. Sally was out in the orchard pruning the apple trees of dead branches. They pruned the roses of their unneeded branches.
See also: of, prune

prune something off (of) something

 and prune something off
to cut something off something. (Of is usually retained before pronouns.) Claire pruned the dead branch off the apple tree. She pruned off the dead branch.
See also: off, prune

full of beans

1. Lively, energetic, in high spirits, as in The children were full of beans today, looking forward to their field trip. This expression has no valid explanation. [c. 1840]
2. Also, full of prunes. Acting foolish, talking nonsense, as in One cup of coffee won't hurt you-you're full of prunes. [c. 1930] Also see full of crap.
See also: bean, full, of

full of beans

If you are full of beans, you are very happy and energetic. Jem was among them, pink-cheeked and full of beans after his long sleep. He's a likable extrovert, full of beans. Note: This originally referred to a horse that was well-fed and therefore full of energy.
See also: bean, full, of

full of beans

lively; in high spirits. informal
This phrase was originally used by people who work with horses, and referred to the good condition of a horse fed on beans.
See also: bean, full, of

prunes and prisms

used to denote a prim and affected speech, look, or manner.
In Charles Dickens's Little Dorrit ( 1857 ), Mrs General advocates speaking this phrase aloud in order to give ‘a pretty form to the lips’.
See also: and, prune

full of ˈbeans

very lively, active and healthy: Ray is certainly full of beans again after his illness.This phrase was originally used to talk about horses that were fed on beans.
See also: bean, full, of

full of beans

mod. full of nonsense; full of hot air. Oh, be quiet. You’re just full of beans.
See also: bean, full, of

full of prunes

mod. full of nonsense. (see also full of beans. Prunes can cause gas = hot air = nonsense.) You’re just silly. Completely full of prunes.
See also: full, of, prune

full of beans

1. Energetic; frisky: The children were too full of beans to sit still.
2. Badly mistaken: Don't believe him; he's full of beans.
See also: bean, full, of
References in periodicals archive ?
In 2005 and 2006, there were fewer shoots growing in the pruned treatment in late summer than in the unpruned treatment trees (fig.
87 cm) was observed in T3 which was pruned 15 January.
All pruned vines were within the optimal range; non-pruned vines were below the optimal range and thus considered out of balance.
Those which must be pruned now are those which don't start flowering until June, and keep going until the autumn, as they make vigorous growth and only flower on the ends of shoots.
A topiary is a plant that has been trained and pruned into formal geometric or abstract shapes.
Fruit trees are pruned to create strong architecture and generate healthy fruit that is easy to pick.
To help restore the tree back to its balanced state, parts of the crown should be pruned.
While our contractors must prune around distribution lines in order maintain safe and reliable electric service, our customers have consistently told us that they want to be able to speak in person about their concerns, and they want more options about how the trees are pruned.
Spring and early flowering shrubs that flower on the previous season's growth are pruned after flowering to allow the new wood to grow and ripen and then bloom the following season.
Wisteria is traditionally pruned twice a year - now and in late summer.
Figs and grapevines, for instance, should be pruned when they are dormant in mid-winter.
Those shrubs flowering after mid-summer's day, mostly deciduous, do so on new wood produced in the current season and are pruned in early spring to HOME While these jobs need attending to as soon as the problem is evident, the timing of pruning to encourage flower production is critical.
Developing a pruning regime for sugar pine involves tradeoffs between reducing tree growth and vigor, and increasing the resistance of pruned trees to blister rust.
Other plants which can be pruned in early spring include euphorbia, lavandula, passiflora and roses, although early pruning of bush roses (before you are confident that spring has arrived) is risky in cold northern gardens.