stern


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from stem to stern

 
1. Lit. from the front of a boat or ship to the back. He inspected the boat from stem to stern and decided he wanted to buy it.
2. Fig. from one end to another. Now, I have to clean the house from stem to stern. I polished my car carefully from stem to stern.
See also: stem, stern

(from) stem to stern

completely We overhauled the car from stem to stern.
Related vocabulary: from top to bottom
Etymology: based on the literal meaning of from the stem to the stern ( from the front end to the back end of a ship)
See also: stem, stern

from soup to nuts

  (American informal)
from the beginning to the end She told us everything about the trip, from soup to nuts.
See also: nuts, soup

from stem to stern

  (American)
from one end of something to the other We overhauled the car from stem to stern.
See also: stem, stern

from soup to nuts

Also, from A to Z or start to finish or stem to stern . From beginning to end, throughout, as in We went through the whole agenda, from soup to nuts, or She had to learn a whole new system from A to Z, or It rained from start to finish, or We did over the whole house from stem to stern. The first expression, with its analogy to the first and last courses of a meal, appeared in slightly different forms (such as from potage to cheese) from the 1500s on; the precise wording here dates only from the mid-1900s. The second expression alludes to the first and last letters of the Roman alphabet; see also alpha and omega. The third comes from racing and alludes to the entire course of the race; it dates from the mid-1800s. The last variant is nautical, alluding to the front or stem, and rear or stern, of a vessel.
See also: nuts, soup

stem to stern

see under from soup to nuts.
See also: stem, stern

stern

n. the posterior; buttocks. The little airplane crashed right into the stern of an enormous lady who didn’t even notice.

from stem to stern

From one end to another.
See also: stem, stern
References in classic literature ?
And to the stern King his home seemed more desolate and sad; for he missed the warm light, the happy flowers, and, more than all, the gay voice and bright face of little Violet.
The dandy, in the stern, with a careless look upward, tried with his foot to shove over the green leaves so as to cover the out-jutting butts of several rifles, but made the matter worse by exposing them more fully.
Each time we missed the skiff at the stern, they set up a wild cheer and dashed across to the other side of the Lancashire Queen to see the chase to wind-ward.
The stern of the skiff was not six feet away, and they were laughing at me derisively as they ducked under the ship's stern.
But we had drawn them out of safety, and Charley, from his place in the stern-sheets, reached over and clutched the stern of the skiff.
Passing under the stern, we read Streak, painted in small white letters.
The Ghost was going very slowly, and when her stern lifted on a wave and she slipped forward she pulled the wretch to the surface and gave him a moment in which to breathe; but between each lift the stern fell, and while the bow lazily climbed the next wave the line slacked and he sank beneath.
When Mugridge was directly beneath us, the stern descended the slope of a passing wave, thus giving the advantage to the shark.
With a wickedness do I begin every day: I mock at the winter with a cold bath: on that account grumbleth my stern house-mate.
Clattering with diction and dice, I outwit the solemn assistants: all those stern watchers, shall my will and purpose elude.
She knew Miss Polly now as a stern, severe-faced woman who frowned if a knife clattered to the floor, or if a door banged--but who never thought to smile even when knives and doors were still.
Before she had finished speaking, there had come back into his face the stern, reproachful expression of the dying man's envy of the living.
Always watching his face, the girl instantly answered to the action in her sculling; presently the boat swung round, quivered as from a sudden jerk, and the upper half of the man was stretched out over the stern.
It escaped his attention, for he was glancing over the stern at something the boat had in tow.
One of the most surprising results, says Stern, was that touching the nipples and the surrounding hairless skin did not trigger a response in the cortex.