cell


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Related to cell: cell theory, Cell structure

little grey cells

Knowledge or the power to think critically. A reference to brain cells. This medication has very serious side effects, and I would rather hang on to all of my little grey cells than extend what remains of my life by a couple of years. The detective credited his little grey cells as the reason he was able to solve such a complex and mysterious case.
See also: cell, grey, little

not have two brain cells to rub together

To be particularly stupid; to lack any intelligence or common sense. Oh please, that fool doesn't have two brain cells to rub together—there's no way he could pull off such an elaborate plan!
See also: brain, cell, have, not, rub, together, two

not have two (something) to rub together

To be totally bereft of or lacking in something. Oh please, that fool doesn't have two brain cells to rub together—there's no way he could pull off such an elaborate plan! There were a few months during college when I didn't have two nickels to rub together, and I had to survive off the handouts of my friends and housemates.
See also: have, not, rub, together, two

little grey cells

brain cells (as symbolic of high intelligence or mental acuity).
The phrase is particularly associated with the cerebral Belgian detective Hercule Poirot , invented by Agatha Christie .
2006 Scotland on Sunday They…show an amazing capacity to solve every cryptic clue, code and secret that comes their way, often merely by the use of their little grey cells and a leap of the imagination.
See also: cell, grey, little

not have two brain cells, pennies, etc. to rub toˈgether

(British English, informal) be very stupid, have no money, etc: How can they afford a new car? They haven’t got two pennies to rub together.
See also: brain, have, not, rub, together, two
References in classic literature ?
Hence it would continually be more and more advantageous to our humble-bee, if she were to make her cells more and more regular, nearer together, and aggregated into a mass, like the cells of the Melipona; for in this case a large part of the bounding surface of each cell would serve to bound other cells, and much wax would be saved.
We hear from mathematicians that bees have practically solved a recondite problem, and have made their cells of the proper shape to hold the greatest possible amount of honey, with the least possible consumption of precious wax in their construction.
Then turning again to the concerns of earth, and having satisfied himself that he was alone in his dungeon, he drew from his breast the three bulbs of the black tulip, and concealed them behind a block of stone, on which the traditional water-jug of the prison was standing, in the darkest corner of his cell.
In another cell, there was a German, sentenced to five years' imprisonment for larceny, two of which had just expired.
In a third cell, was a tall, strong black, a burglar, working at his proper trade of making screws and the like.
There were sheets on sheets of level, even brood-comb that had held in its time unnumbered thousands of unnamed workers; patches of obsolete drone-comb, broad and high-shouldered, showing to what marks the male grub was expected to grow; and two-inch deep honey-magazines, empty, but still magnificent, the whole gummed and glued into twisted scrap-work, awry on the wires; half-cells, beginnings abandoned, or grandiose, weak-walled, composite cells pieced out with rubbish and capped with dirt.
He sat in this way for some minutes, while the four men in the cells, who were certain that somebody had entered the gallery, but could not see who, gave vent to such piteous entreaties as wretches in their miserable condition may be supposed to have been inspired with: urging, whoever it was, to set them at liberty, for the love of Heaven; and protesting, with great fervour, and truly enough, perhaps, for the time, that if they escaped, they would amend their ways, and would never, never, never again do wrong before God or man, but would lead penitent and sober lives, and sorrowfully repent the crimes they had committed.
But when he had got thus far in his discourse, the sound of voices in the yard showed plainly that the mob had returned and were coming that way; and directly afterwards a violent crashing at the grate below, gave note of their attack upon the cells (as they were called) at last.
The inspector visited, one after another, the cells and dungeons of several of the prisoners, whose good behavior or stupidity recommended them to the clemency of the government.
To confine ourselves to the cell in the Tour-Roland, we must say that it had never lacked recluses.
In accordance with the fashion of the epoch, a Latin inscription on the wall indicated to the learned passer-by the pious purpose of this cell.
We heard the guard moving about from cell to cell, and finally, his rounds completed, he again entered ours.
There we found several other guards, and with them the red Martian youth who occupied another cell upon Shador.
The cell was a dual cave, dug into the hillside, and in it Hilary had been buried.
She went through the little porch into the cell where he lived.