wooden

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wooden mare

An ancient torture device involving a wooden horse, typically used for military punishments. I was so terrified of what my parents would do when they found out I'd failed my exam that I had visions of them making me ride the wooden mare.
See also: mare, wooden

wooden spoonist

slang The person or team that finishes last in a competition. So-named because the imaginary prize for a last-place finish is a wooden spoon. Primarily heard in UK. Of course Roy was the wooden-spoonist in today's race—I didn't know a person could run so slow!
See also: wooden

wooden top

A beet-shaped wooden toy that spins on a metal point at the bottom. What are you kids complaining about? When I was your age, I only had a wooden top to play with!
See also: top, wooden

don't take any wooden nickels

Take care and, specifically, try not to get swindled. The phrase is thought to have originated in the early 20th century when country residents visiting the city were considered easily duped. Primarily heard in US. Have fun tonight and don't take any wooden nickels!
See also: any, nickel, take, wooden

the wooden spoon

The hypothetical prize for the person finishing in last place in a competition. Primarily heard in UK, Australia. I don't expect to win, but I sure hope I don't get the wooden spoon!
See also: spoon, wooden

a wooden nickel

AMERICAN
If you call something a wooden nickel, you mean that it is completely false or has no value. Note: A nickel is a five cent coin and a dime is a ten cent coin. He looked at the card as though it were a wooden nickel. `That doesn't prove a thing,' he said.
See also: nickel, wooden

the wooden spoon

BRITISH
COMMON If you say that someone gets the wooden spoon, you mean that they are the last in a race or competition or are the worst at a particular activity. Cosmos will almost certainly get the wooden-spoon for the second year in a row if they lose. Britain's bureaucrats won the EU's wooden spoon yesterday, as the worst linguists in Brussels. Note: You can use wooden spoon before a noun. After their third defeat, the Hawks have confirmed their place as wooden spoon contenders this season. Note: At one time, the student who got the lowest marks in their final mathematics exam at Cambridge University was given a wooden spoon.
See also: spoon, wooden

accept a wooden nickel

be fooled or swindled. US
A wooden nickel is a worthless or counterfeit coin.
See also: accept, nickel, wooden

a wooden nutmeg

a false or fraudulent thing. US
A wooden nutmeg was a piece of wood shaped to resemble a nutmeg and fraudulently sold as the real thing. This deception was particularly associated with the inhabitants of Connecticut, giving rise to the nickname ‘the Nutmeg State’.
See also: wooden

win the wooden spoon

be the least successful contestant; win the booby prize.
A wooden spoon was originally presented to the candidate coming last in the Cambridge University mathematical tripos (the final honours examination for a BA degree).
See also: spoon, win, wooden

don’t take any wooden ˈnickels

(American English) used when saying goodbye to somebody to mean ‘be careful’, ‘take care of yourself’: Well, see you around Tom. Don’t take any wooden nickels.
See also: any, nickel, take, wooden

get, win, take, etc. the ˌwooden ˈspoon

(British English, informal) come last in a race or competition: England must win this match if they are to avoid taking the wooden spoon.It was a custom at the University of Cambridge to give a wooden spoon to the student of mathematics who had the lowest mark/grade for their year.
See also: spoon, wooden

Don't take any wooden nickels

Don't let yourself be cheated. This expression was first heard in the early 20th century. Although there never were any wooden nickels as legal tender, country folk going to a city were likely to be cheated by all manner of ruses, including obviously counterfeit coins. Wooden nickels did exist, however, as bank promotions during and after the Great Depression; the “coins” were redeemable for prizes.
See also: any, nickel, take, wooden
References in periodicals archive ?
Well done, Currys and [ad agency] M&C Saatchi, for making one of the most excruciating celeb appearances even worse by the addition of His Woodenness, David Seaman.
The prescribed choreography added a warm glow to the whole production, however, it would have been nice to see more consistency in this department, as the lacklustre opening number, Tradition, left a lingering impression of woodenness among the chorus.
Gore's self-deprecating humor and reputation for woodenness notwithstanding, ABC, CBS and NBC combined for a 13.
I'm expecting him to lay into Bloom, as any right-thinking citizen would, for his sheer woodenness of personality, as evinced by this latest inoffensive titbit.
He wanted it to be blocky, the woodenness emphatic,'' Courtier said.
Though the effects were universally admired there was heavy criticism about the woodenness of the acting, the clumsiness of the dialogue, the dullness of the story line, and the creation of a character more annoying than a bedroom full of hungry mosquitos - Jar Jar Binks.
As an actor, director and choreographer, Kelly took the starch out of Hollywood musicals, which until the 1940s had been dominated by Fred Astaire's elegance and Nelson Eddy's woodenness.
Isabelle's impressive lead performance exposes the woodenness of the supporting cast but the script is solid throughout and the tone remains deliciously dark and demented.
Kidman is in teeth-gnashingly terrible form here with endless close-ups only serving to highlight her woodenness.
The film tries to use his woodenness as an actor, even making reference to it -- "Try it again, a little less wooden," says his lawyer while he's being prepped -- but he's in almost every scene, and it starts to get tedious; Gone Girl cries out for the quicksilver charisma Jesse Eisenberg brought to Mark Zuckerberg in Fincher's The Social Network.
Radcliffe allows some of the woodenness of his Hogwarts years to creep into his portrayal of a medical school dropout, who stumbles upon love when he least expects it.
Lugering understands Stanislavski as primarily a physical teacher, and offers a training method of practical alternatives to avoid the woodenness that can come with "thinking through" roles, and the narcissism that can come with "feeling through" them.
That woodenness in front of the camera is glaringly apparent in The Cold Light Of Day, a pedestrian spy thriller that casts itself in the mould of The Bourne Identity but falls pitifully short on every count.
When comparing all three rivers in central Lithuania, the Mituva river distinguishes with its highest woodenness and lowest swampiness (Table 1).