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a goldfish bowl

A place, situation, or environment in which one has little or no privacy. A reference to the (typically) spherical bowls in which pet fish are often kept, which can be seen into from all sides. One of the prices of success for a pop star is having to live in a goldfish bowl under the scrutiny of the public eye. I feel like I'm in a goldfish bowl working at this new company, with all their security cameras posted everywhere.
See also: bowl, goldfish

bowl (someone) a googly

To present someone with a question, situation, or piece of information that is surprising or unexpected. Taken from cricket, in which a "googly" is a ball thrown counter to that which the batsman expects. Primarily heard in UK. Dave really bowled me a googly when he asked if I'd like to go on a date with him. The manager bowled us a googly by announcing we'd have this Friday off.
See also: bowl, googly

bowl from the pavilion end

slang To be homosexual. The phrase is a reference to cricket. Usually said of men. Primarily heard in UK, Australia. I asked Simon out on a date, but it turns out that he bowls from the pavilion end.
See also: bowl, end

bowl of cherries

Wonderful; very pleasant. Typically used in the metaphoric expression, "life is (not) just a bowl of cherries." I got a promotion and got engaged in the span of a week! Life is just a bowl of cherries these days!
See also: bowl, cherry, of

bowl out

1. verb In cricket, to cause a batsman to be out by bowling a ball to them and striking the wicket. A noun or pronoun can be used between "bowl" and "out." I can't believe I got bowled out again!
2. noun In cricket, a method of deciding a tie game in which five players from each team bowl at an unguarded wicket. The team with the most hits is awarded the win. In this usage, the phrase is often hyphenated. Well, if it's a tie score, the game will have to be decided by a bowl-out.
See also: bowl, out

bowl over

1. Literally, to collide with and force someone or something to fall to the ground. A noun or pronoun can be used between "bowl" and "over." When they were reunited at the airport, my daughter leapt into her boyfriend's arms and bowled him over. It seems that the wind has bowled over all of our trashcans.
2. To thoroughly shock, impress, or overwhelm. A noun or pronoun can be used between "bowl" and "over." My daughter was totally bowled over when her boyfriend returned from his business trip early and showed up at her birthday party. The show of support from everyone just bowled me over.
See also: bowl, over

bowl up

To add a substance that can be smoked to the bowl of a pipe. I just carry this pipe to evoke the air of Sherlock Holmes—I never actually bowl up.
See also: bowl, up

life is (just) a bowl of cherries

proverb Life is wonderful or very pleasant. I got a promotion and got engaged in the span of a week! Life is just a bowl of cherries these days!
See also: bowl, cherry, life, of

party bowl

slang A pipe with an exceptionally large bowl used to smoke a large amount of marijuana in a single sitting, as might be used to accommodate a large number of people (at a party). Tom whipped out a party bowl and started packing it with enough weed to get the whole room stoned.
See also: bowl, party

Puppy Bowl

A TV program that airs on Animal Planet on the afternoon of Super Bowl Sunday. Puppies play on a mock football field, and kittens take the field for the "Kitten Halftime Show." The animals shown are usually available for adoption. Who cares about the Super Bowl—when is Puppy Bowl on?
See also: bowl, puppy

sell (one's) birthright for a bowl of soup

To exchange something of great, important, or fundamental value for some financial gain that proves to be of little, trivial, or no value but which appears to be attractive or valuable on first reckoning. (A variant of "sell one's birthright for a mess of pottage," an allusion to Esau in Genesis 25:29–32, who sells to Jacob his birthright to his family's estate for a bowl of lentil stew (pottage).) If we allow our obsession with job creation to undermine the health of the environment, humanity will ultimately end up selling its birthright for a bowl of soup.
See also: birthright, bowl, of, sell, soup

slop bowl

dated A bowl or other receptacle into which the dregs and leftovers of tea or coffee are collected from drinkers' cups (i.e., so that they may be refilled with a fresh drink). Tabitha, will you please come take the slop bowl away and empty it? It's becoming conspicuously full.
See also: bowl, slop

take the Browns to the Super Bowl

slang To defecate. It is a pun in which "Super Bowl" refers to a toilet, and "the Browns" refers to the Cleveland Browns football team (chosen because feces are brown). Hang on, I've got to take the Browns to the Super Bowl before we leave the house.
See also: bowl, Brown, super, take

turd in the punchbowl

vulgar slang Something or someone that spoils, ruins, or needlessly complicates a situation or circumstance; a disagreeable nuisance or source of irritation. For these greedy corporate executives, restrictions put in place by regulators to protect consumers are just turds in the punchbowl. Not to be the turd in the punchbowl, but I really think we should take this money we found to the police, instead of keeping it for ourselves.
See also: turd
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.

bowl someone over

 
1. Lit. to knock someone over. (Fixed order.) We were bowled over by the wind. Bob hit his brother and bowled him over.
2. Fig. to surprise or overwhelm someone. (Fixed order.) The news bowled me over. The details of the proposed project bowled everyone over.
See also: bowl, over

bowl up

to fill a pipe bowl with smokable material. The detective bowled up and struck a match. Roger bowled up, but forgot to light his pipe.
See also: bowl, up

Life is just a bowl of cherries.

Prov. Everything is going well.; Life is carefree. (Often used ironically, as in the second example.) The real estate salesman tried to convince us that life in the suburbs is just a bowl of cherries. Jill: Hi, Jane. How are you? Jane: Oh, my alarm clock didn't go off this morning, and then my car wouldn't start, and I missed the bus and got to work late, and I just found out my rent's going up fifty dollars a month. Life is just a bowl of cherries.
See also: bowl, cherry, just, life, of
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of American Idioms and Phrasal Verbs. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.

bowl of cherries, life is just a

These are happy circumstances; life is wonderful. This phrase is often used ironically, as in My husband is about to get laid off-life is just a bowl of cherries, right? Originating as the title of a song (1931) by Lew Brown (lyrics) and composer Ray Henderson, this term expressed the idea that everything was going very well. However, its ironical use was established by the 1970s. Also see bed of roses.
See also: bowl, just, life, of

bowl over

Astonish, surprise greatly, overwhelm, as in I was simply bowled over by their wonderful performance. This term originated in cricket, where it means "to knock all the bails off the wicket." [Mid-1800s]
See also: bowl, over

goldfish bowl

A situation affording no privacy, as in Being in a goldfish bowl comes with the senator's job-there's no avoiding it. The glass bowl allowing one to view goldfish from every direction was transferred first, in the 1920s, to a police interrogation room equipped with a one-way mirror. By the mid-1900s the expression was being used more broadly.
See also: bowl, goldfish
The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer. Copyright © 2003, 1997 by The Christine Ammer 1992 Trust. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

life is a bowl of cherries

If you say that life is a bowl of cherries, you mean that life is full of pleasure and enjoyment. To him, life was a bowl of cherries. Life's not exactly a bowl of cherries when you're an international champ.
See also: bowl, cherry, life, of
Collins COBUILD Idioms Dictionary, 3rd ed. © HarperCollins Publishers 2012

a bowl of cherries

a very pleasant or enjoyable situation or experience.
See also: bowl, cherry, of

goldfish bowl

a place or situation lacking privacy.
See also: bowl, goldfish
Farlex Partner Idioms Dictionary © Farlex 2017

bowl out

v.
Chiefly British In the game of cricket, to retire some batsman with a bowled ball that knocks the bails off the wicket. Used chiefly in the passive: They played well but were bowled out shortly after lunch.
See also: bowl, out

bowl over

v.
1. To knock someone or something down to the ground: The kids ran down the hallway, bowling over everyone in their way. A strong wind will bowl that billboard over.
2. To make a powerful impression on someone; astound someone: She bowled over everyone at the meeting with her amazing presentation. His new songs bowled me over, so I bought his new CD. You must go hear this poet—you will be bowled over!
See also: bowl, over
The American Heritage® Dictionary of Phrasal Verbs. Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

bowl

n. a pipe or other device for smoking cannabis. (Drugs.) There’s somebody’s bowl out in the hall. Go get it before the neighbors call the fuzz.

party bowl

n. a marijuana pipe large enough to serve a number of smokers. (Drugs.) The cops thought the party bowl was a flower vase!
See also: bowl, party
McGraw-Hill's Dictionary of American Slang and Colloquial Expressions Copyright © 2006 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All rights reserved.

bowl over

Overwhelm, astonish, surprise. This term originated in the mid-1800s in the game of cricket, where it signifies knocking all the bails off the wicket. It has been used figuratively since the twentieth century, as in “I was just bowled over when I learned he’d gotten the million-dollar grant.” See also blow out of the water.
See also: bowl, over

life is just a bowl of cherries

Everything is just great. This slangy phrase, often used ironically, gained currency as the title of a song by Ray Henderson (lyrics by Lew Brown) performed by Ethel Merman in the Scandals of 1931. Today it is nearly always used ironically, as in the title of humorist Erma Bombeck’s book: If Life Is Just a Bowl of Cherries, What Am I Doing in the Pits? (1978). See also the pits. “Since life is short, we need to make it broad; Since life is brief, we need to make it bright . . .” —Ella Wheeler Wilcox
See also: bowl, cherry, just, life, of
The Dictionary of Clichés by Christine Ammer Copyright © 2013 by Christine Ammer
See also:
References in classic literature ?
So I went up to him with an ivy-wood bowl of black wine in my hands:
He was so delighted with the taste of the wine that he begged me for another bowl full.
the cripple and the legless man, in his bowl, came up on their side in great haste, and with great clamor of bowl and crutches, upon the pavement.
" La buona mancia !" chanted the cripple in the bowl.
I wish I had space to describe the match--how the captain stumped the next man off a leg-shooter, and bowled small cobs to old Mr.
Then the cover-point hitter, that cunning man, goes on to bowl slow twisters.
Jingle), in which the words 'bowl' 'sparkling' 'ruby' 'bright' and 'wine' are frequently repeated at short intervals.
I have saved more than the bowl will cost thrice over.
'It is good to give to the poor.' She took the bowl and returned it full of hot rice.
"Nana, good dog," he said, patting her, "I have put a little milk into your bowl, Nana."
Darling smelt the bowl. "O George," she said, "it's your medicine!"
Then the bell rang, and I climbed to the top of the pavilion to watch Raffles bowl. No subtleties are lost up there; and if ever a bowler was full of them, it was A.
The carriage had whirled us under I know not how many triumphal arches in process of construction, and past the tents and flag-poles of a juicy-looking cricket-field, on which Raffles undertook to bowl up to his reputation.
The very pipe, in which burned the spell of all this wonderwork, ceased to appear as a smoke-blackened earthen stump, and became a meerschaum, with painted bowl and amber mouthpiece.
It was a remarkable point in the accoutrement of this brilliant personage that he held in his left hand a fantastic kind of a pipe, with an exquisitely painted bowl and an amber mouthpiece.