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silver spoon

A metaphor for ample wealth that has been passed down through inheritance. (Used primarily in the phrase "born with a silver spoon in (one's) mouth.") We may both be wealthy now, but I never had a silver spoon growing up. I had nothing when I was young, and all of my fortune is down to my own hard work. Everyone who attends that university was born with a silver spoon in his mouth, so I just don't think it's the right place for me.
See also: silver, spoon

silver surfer

An elderly person who is a proficient user of the Internet. My grandmother has become a real silver surfer since we got her new computer hooked up to the Internet. She even keeps in touch with her friends on social media!
See also: silver, surfer

silver tongue

Oratory skills that are particularly eloquent, artful, seductive, and/or persuasive. He might not have much experience in politics, but his silver tongue is bound to win over a great deal of voters.
See also: silver, tongue

have a silver tongue

To be particularly eloquently and/or artfully persuasive in speech. He might not have much experience in politics, but he's got a silver tongue and is bound to win over a great deal of voters on his charismatic speeches alone.
See also: have, silver, tongue

every dark cloud has a silver lining

It is possible for something good to come out of a bad situation. (A silver lining on a cloud is an indication that the sun is behind it.) I know you're upset about not getting the lead in the school play, but just keep in mind that every dark cloud has a silver lining—you'll get lots of experience as the understudy! When I'm going through a hard time, I try to remind myself that every dark cloud has a silver lining.
See also: cloud, dark, every, lining, silver

every silver lining has a cloud

A good situation can be followed by something bad or negative. A reversal of the more common phrase "every cloud has a silver lining." I wouldn't get too excited, if I were you—every silver lining has a cloud, after all.
See also: cloud, every, lining, silver

born with a silver spoon in one's mouth

Fig. born into wealth and privilege. James doesn't know anything about working for a living; he was born with a silver spoon in his mouth. Most of the students at the exclusive private college were born with silver spoons in their mouths.
See also: born, mouth, silver, spoon

cross someone's palm with silver

Fig. to pay money to someone in payment for a service. (A fortune-teller might ask for a potential customer to cross her palm with silver. Used in that sense or jocularly for something like tipping a porter.) I crossed his palm with silver, but he still stood there. You will find that things happen much faster in hotels if you cross the staff's palms with silver fairly often.
See also: cross, palm, silver

Every cloud has a silver lining.

Prov. You can derive some benefit from every bad thing that happens to you. (You can also refer to the silver lining of a particular cloud, the benefit you can derive from a particular misfortune.) I'm sorry your business is going badly, but don't despair. Every cloud has a silver lining. When Mary's friends visited her in the hospital, they tried to cheer her up, but Mary never could find the silver lining in the cloud of her illness.
See also: cloud, every, lining, silver

*on a silver platter

Fig. using a presentation [of something] that is appropriate for a very formal setting. (*Typically: give something to someone ~; present something ~; serve something ~; want something ~.) Aren't paper plates good enough for you? You want dinner maybe on a silver platter?
See also: on, platter, silver

on a silver platter

without work or effort The Internet provides huge quantities of information on a silver platter, but you don't know if it's accurate or true.
See also: on, platter, silver

born with a silver spoon in your mouth

to have opportunities that you did not earn but that you have from the influence of your family Bill was not born with a silver spoon in his mouth – he came from a poor family and earned his success through hard work.
Etymology: from the idea that silver spoons were given at birth to wealthy children
See also: born, mouth, silver, spoon

be born with a silver spoon in your mouth

to be the son or daughter of a very rich family His complete lack of concern about money is natural of someone who was born with a silver spoon in their mouth.
See also: born, mouth, silver, spoon

Every cloud has a silver lining.

something that you say which means that there is something good even in an unpleasant situation As the trip's been cancelled I'll be able to go to the match this Saturday. Every cloud has a silver lining.
See also: cloud, every, lining, silver

the silver screen

the cinema All the stars of the silver screen are here tonight to celebrate this great occasion.
See give to on a platter
See also: screen, silver


a silver-tongued person speaks to someone in a pleasant way and praises them in order to persuade them to do what they want (always before noun) He was a silver-tongued orator who convinced many people to support him.

born with a silver spoon

Born wealthy, or fortunate, or both, as in Paul can afford to go to medical school; he was born with a silver spoon. Although some authorities believe this phrase alludes to the custom of godparents giving their godchild a silver spoon, affordable only by rich persons, it is more likely that the spoon has come to symbolize wealth. [c. 1700]
See also: born, silver, spoon

cross someone's palm with silver

Pay for a service; pay in advance. For example, I'll give you all the details, but first cross my palm with silver. This phrase alludes to the old practice of placing silver coins across a gypsy fortuneteller's hand before having one's fortune told. Today it is sometimes used in a jocular way to ask for a bribe or a tip, as in the example. [c. 1700] Also see grease someone's palm.
See also: cross, palm, silver

hand to on a silver platter

Also, serve up on a plate. Provide with something valuable for nothing, or give an unearned reward to; also, make it easy for. For example, She did no work at all, expecting to have everything handed to her on a silver platter, or Just ask them-they'll serve up the data on a plate. Both terms allude to being elaborately served at the table. [Early 1900s] Also see born with a silver spoon.
See also: hand, on, platter, silver

silver lining

An element of hope or a redeeming quality in an otherwise bad situation, as in The rally had a disappointing turnout, but the silver lining was that those who came pledged a great deal of money . This metaphoric term is a shortening of Every cloud has a silver lining, in turn derived from John Milton's Comus (1634): "A sable cloud turns forth its silver lining on the night."
See also: lining, silver


n. money. I have some silver stashed at home if you need it.

silver bullet

and magic bullet
n. a specific, fail-safe solution to a problem. (From the notion that a bullet made of silver is required to shoot a werewolf.) I’m not suggesting that the committee has provided us with a silver bullet, only that their advice was timely and useful. I don’t know the answer. I don’t have a magic bullet!
See also: bullet, silver

silver goose

n. a proctoscope. (see also goose.) When the nurse brought in the silver goose, the patient nearly fainted.
See also: goose, silver

born with a silver spoon in his or her mouth

Financial and social advantages from family connections. It was traditional when a child was christened for the godparents to give a silver spoon as a gift or as soon afterwards as they could afford one (if they ever could). However, a child born into a wealthy family always received one at the ceremony. Such infants so privileged were said, often enviously, to have been “born with a silver spoon in their mouth,” and the image followed them throughout their lives.
See also: born, mouth, silver, spoon
References in classic literature ?
Looking back we saw the figure moving slowly away over the broad moor, and behind him that one black smudge on the silvered slope which showed where the man was lying who had come so horribly to his end.
It was a handsome, lively, quick face, full of change and motion; and his hair was a silvered iron-grey.
Slowly and softly they began tapping upon the resounding surface of the drum as the first faint rays of the ascending moon silvered the encircling tree tops.
The park was illuminated; the moon, too, as if she had placed herself at the orders of the lord of Vaux, silvered the trees and lake with her own bright and quasi-phosphorescent light.
Here, whether it was the shops with their shuttered windows, the smooth and silvered curve of the wood pavement, or a natural ebb of feeling, his exaltation slowly oozed and deserted him.
The day was damp, and they were not going to walk out, so they both went up to their sitting-room; and there Celia observed that Dorothea, instead of settling down with her usual diligent interest to some occupation, simply leaned her elbow on an open book and looked out of the window at the great cedar silvered with the damp.