alligator

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alligator

slang Remnants from a tire's tread, as found discarded on a roadway. So called because the treads resemble the scales of an alligator. Whoa, watch out for that alligator in the middle of the road! Luckily, I spotted the alligator in the middle of the highway and was able to swerve around it. A: "Hey, what's that black thing in the middle of the intersection?" B: "Hmm, maybe an alligator?"

alligator arms

A reference to the fact that alligators have particularly stubby limbs. Primarily heard in US.
1. American football An athlete's arms that have not been extended far enough to catch a ball. If Mullen hadn't gotten alligator arms on that final play, he could have scored a touchdown to win the game. Stop having such alligator arms! When I toss you the ball, you've got to reach out and grab it! Dude, what's with the alligator arms? You totally could have caught that!
2. humorous Said of someone who is particularly stingy, i.e., their arms are too short to reach their wallet. Tom has a tendency to get alligator arms whenever we all go out for dinner together—someone else always ends up covering for him. If you want to impress Jenny, make sure you don't have alligator arms. She does not like guys who are cheap. I ended up paying the bill when we all went out because I didn't want them to think I had alligator arms
See also: alligator, arm

be up to (one's) ass in alligators

rude slang To be so overcome or preoccupied by various tangential worries, problems, or tasks that one loses sight of the ultimate goal or objective. A variation of the expression "When you are up to your neck in alligators, it's easy to forget that the goal was to drain the swamp." I've spent so much time dealing with various infrastructure problems for my new business that I've had no time to actually develop our product properly. This is what happens when you're up to your ass in alligators.
See also: alligator, ass, to, up

later, alligator

childish Goodbye for now. A shortening of the rhyme "see you later, alligator" (often followed by the response "in a while, crocodile"). A: "OK, I've got to go, kiddo—later, alligator!" B: "In a while, crocodile! Come home soon!"
See also: alligator

see you later, alligator

childish Goodbye for now. Often followed by the response "in a while, crocodile." A: "OK, I've got to go, kiddo—see you later, alligator!" B: "In a while, crocodile! Come home soon!"
See also: alligator, see

too busy fighting alligators to drain the swamp

proverb business adage So overcome or preoccupied by various tangential worries, problems, or tasks that one loses sight of the ultimate goal or objective. A: "I've spent so much time dealing with various infrastructure problems for my new business that I've had no time to actually develop our product properly." B: "Sounds like you've been too busy fighting alligators to drain the swamp."
See also: alligator, busy, drain, fight, swamp, to

up to (one's) ass in alligators

rude slang So overcome or preoccupied by various tangential worries, problems, or tasks that one loses sight of the ultimate goal or objective. A variation of the expression "When you are up to your neck in alligators, it's easy to forget that the goal was to drain the swamp." I've spent so much time dealing with various infrastructure problems for my new business that I've had no time to actually develop our product properly. This is what happens when you're up to your ass in alligators.
See also: alligator, ass, to, up

up to (one's) neck in alligators

business adage So overcome or preoccupied by various tangential worries, problems, or tasks that one loses sight of the ultimate goal or objective. The full expression is some variation of "When you are up to your neck in alligators, it's easy to forget that the goal was to drain the swamp." I've spent so much time dealing with various infrastructure problems for my new business that I've had no time to actually develop our product properly. I guess it's easy to forget that when up to your neck in alligators, the mission was to drain the swamp.
See also: alligator, neck, to, up
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2022 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.

See you later, alligator,

 and Later, alligator.
Inf. Good-bye. (Sometimes the reply is After while(, crocodile.)) Bob: See you later, alligator. Jane: After while, crocodile. Bob: Bye, Tom. Tom: See you later, alligator. Bob: Later.
See also: alligator, see
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of American Idioms and Phrasal Verbs. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.

alligator

and gator
n. a long, heavy, black segment of the outside of a tire, usually a truck tire, found on the highway. We dodged off onto the shoulder to avoid running over an alligator. A gator bashed in the bottom of my gas tank.

See you later, alligator

interj. Good-bye. (From the 1930s. Answered with After while, crocodile.) TOM: Bye. BILL: See you later, alligator. BILL: See you later, alligator. TOM: After while, crocodile.
See also: alligator, see
McGraw-Hill's Dictionary of American Slang and Colloquial Expressions Copyright © 2006 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All rights reserved.

See you later, alligator

Bye! The title of a 1950s rock-'n'-roll smash hit by Bill Haley and His Comets, the phrase was already in use, especially in the South. For a decade or more, hep/hip/with-it cats and chicks ended conversations with the phrase. The standard reply was the song's next line: “after a while, crocodile.”
See also: alligator, see
Endangered Phrases by Steven D. Price Copyright © 2011 by Steven D. Price
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