country

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country cousin

Someone unknowledgeable, unsophisticated, or naïve about the niceties and complexities of an urban environment, especially in a humorous or quaint capacity. I always try to lend a hand to the poor country cousins who invariably stand bewildered by the skyscrapers and the incredible noise of traffic. I thought I was savvy enough to live in New York City, but I soon felt like the country cousin.
See also: country, cousin

country bumpkin

Someone from a rural area who is therefore not versed in city life or its social norms. Cousin Celia is such a country bumpkin. Last time, she took her shoes off in the middle of a restaurant! Can you dress a little nicer? You look like a country bumpkin in those overalls!
See also: bumpkin, country

another country heard from

Another person or group has voiced an opinion (often one that is unwelcome). A: "I can't believe you two seriously believe this candidate is the best person for the job." B: "Oh boy, another country heard from."
See also: another, country, hear

a country mile

A long distance, especially when one expects it to be shorter. We've driven so far, and I still don't see the silo anywhere. Maybe the farmer was referring to a country mile when he said it was 'just a mile away.'
See also: country, mile

go to the country

1. To travel to a more rural or remote area than one's current location. I want to go to the country on Saturday, to get away from the hustle and bustle of city life.
2. To hold an election. Primarily heard in UK, Australia. I plan to go to the country next year.
See also: country

It's a free country

One has the right to do something or act a certain way, no matter what other people think about it. I'll play my music as loud as I want. It's a free country, after all! A: "Can I sit here?" B: "It's a free country, isn't it?"
See also: country, free

the old country

One's or one's ancestors' native country; the country of one's origin, especially in Europe. Ma keeps talking about going back to the old country. Let's save up and take her next summer.
See also: country, old

lay it on the line

To speak bluntly and directly. If you lay it on the line, maybe then they'll be able to understand how serious this situation is.
See also: lay, line, on

(one's) line of country

One's preferred area of knowledge or expertise; a subject one is very skilled in, knows much about, or enjoys greatly. I worked in IT for a few years—it paid well, but it wasn't really my line of country. I won't comment, as speculating on political motivations is not my line of country.
See also: country, line, of

the/(one's) mother country

The country where one was born of one's family came from. Every Thanksgiving I make a point of eating turkey and cooking pumpkin pie to remind me of my mother country. We set up this community center so immigrants could have a place where they felt connected to the mother country.
See also: country, mother

unknown country

A place, topic, or situation that is totally foreign or unfamiliar. There has been such turbulence and change with the company that the future now looks like an unknown country. Visiting my dad's family down in Texas always felt like traveling to an unknown country as a kid.
See also: country, unknown

another country heard from

Fig. yet another person adds to the conversation. Used when someone joins a discussion other people are having, especially unexpectedly. (Used sarcastically, implying that the new speaker is not welcome in the discussion.) Alan: You ought to take a vacation tomorrow. You really look tired. Fred: I am not tired and I don't need a vacation. Jane: But you do seem awfully short-tempered. Fred: Well, well, another country heard from! Brother: Let's go to the movies. Father: I'm too busy to drive you to the movies. Sister: I want to go to the movies, too. Let's go to the movies! Father: Oh, splendid. Another country heard from.
See also: another, country, hear

country mile

Rur. a great distance. The batter knocked that ball a country mile. I had to walk a country mile to the next gas station.
See also: country, mile

Happy is the country which has no history.

Prov. Since history tends to record only violent, unfortunate, or tumultuous events, a country with no history would be a country lucky enough to have no such unhappy events to record. The history of our country is so full of greed, violence, and dishonesty; happy is the country which has no history.
See also: country, happy, history, no

In the country of the blind, the one-eyed man is king.

Prov. A person who is not particularly capable can attain a powerful position if the people around him or her are even less capable. Jill: How on earth did Joe get promoted to be head of his department? He's such a blunderer! Jane: In the country of the blind, the one-eyed man is king.
See also: country, king, man, of

lay it on the line

 and put it on the line
Fig. to make something very clear; to be very definite about something. I am going to lay it on the line and you had better listen to me. If you eat any of these mushrooms, you will die. I've said it before, but this time I'm going to put it on the line. Don't eat the mushrooms!
See also: lay, line, on

prophet is not without honor save in his own country

Prov. Everyone recognizes that a wise person is wise, except for the people close to him or her. (Biblical.) No one in the novelist's country would publish her books, but last year she won the Nobel Prize. A prophet is not without honor save in his own country.

so many countries, so many customs.

Prov. People in different countries have different ways of behaving. In the last place I visited, it was considered rude to put your hands on the table at dinner, but here, it's rude to keep them under the table. so many countries, so many customs.
See also: custom, many

country cousin

One whose lack of sophistication or rural ways may amuse or embarrass city dwellers. For example, The sightseeing guide geared his tour toward country cousins who had never been to a large city before . This term, which literally means "a cousin who lives in the country," has been used in this figurative way since the second half of the 1700s, although the idea is much older (such persons were stock figures of fun in Restoration comedies of the late 1600s and early 1700s).
See also: country, cousin

go to the country

BRITISH
COMMON If a head of government or a government goes to the country, they hold a general election. Strictly speaking, the Prime Minister doesn't have to go to the country for another year.
See also: country
Note: If someone lays it on the line, they say what needs to be said truthfully and directly. He laid it on the line and said without treatment I had only three months to live. Note: You can also say that someone lays everything on the line. Mr. Dambar had planned to march straight over to the trailer and lay everything on the line. Note: Originally, `lay it on the line' may have been connected with gambling. It meant to lay a bet on the sideline in the game of craps, or on the counter of a betting window at a racecourse.

lay it on the line

or

not your line of country

BRITISH, OLD-FASHIONED
If something is not your line of country, it is not a subject that you know much about, or one in which you are very interested. I am rather ignorant on this matter — it is not quite my line of country.
See also: lay, line, on

a country mile

a very long way; a very large margin. informal
2001 Sunday Business Post He's definitely the best barrister there – by a country mile.
See also: country, mile

go (or appeal) to the country

test public opinion by dissolving Parliament and holding a general election. British
See also: country

line of country

a subject about which a person is skilled or knowledgeable. British
See also: country, line, of

unknown country

an unfamiliar place or topic.
The Latin equivalent, terra incognita , is also used in English.
See also: country, unknown

it's a free country

said when asserting that a course of action is not illegal or forbidden, often in justification of it.
See also: country, free

lay (or put) it on the line

speak frankly.
See also: lay, line, on

a country ˈbumpkin/ˈcousin

(informal, usually disapproving) a person from the countryside who is not used to towns or cities and seems stupid: He felt a real country bumpkin, sitting in that expensive restaurant, not knowing which cutlery to use.
See also: bumpkin, country, cousin

go to the ˈcountry

(British English) hold a general election: The Prime Minister may decide to go to the country in the next few weeks.
See also: country

it’s a free ˈcountry

(spoken) used as a reply when somebody suggests that you should not do something: It’s a free country and I’ll say what I like!
See also: country, free

lay it on the ˈline

(informal) tell somebody something in an honest, direct and forceful way: She laid it on the line, telling us that we would fail the exam unless we worked harder.
See also: lay, line, on

the ˈmother country

the country where you or your family were born and which you feel a strong emotional connection with: The cafe was a meeting place for the immigrants, a welcome reminder of the tastes of the mother country.
See also: country, mother

country drunk

mod. alcohol intoxicated; drunk and disorganized. (Folksy.) Them good old boys know how to get country drunk.
See also: country, drunk

lay it on the line

tv. to speak very frankly and directly. I’m going to have to lay it on the line with you, I guess.
See also: lay, line, on

in country

In Vietnam during the period of US military operations there: "He'd been in country a month longer than the other four" (Nelson DeMille).
See also: country

country mile

A distance that's farther than anticipated. Rural distances seem to be much longer than city folk think, so when a farmer says that the turnoff is “just a mile down the road,” that mile can stretch on interminably. The phrase used to be regularly used by baseball radio broadcasters to describe the distance of a long home run.
See also: country, mile
References in periodicals archive ?
These Central European countries have performed well, given their early moves to carry out economic reform, their recent good growth and growing appeal to investors and international business," said David Hutchings, Cushman & Wakefield's Head of European Research.
The Pew Research Center poll of 38,203 people in 44 countries was conducted from July to October 2002.
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Indeed, under the Heavily Indebted Poor Countries Initiative supported by the G7, countries have to suffer under three to six years of structural adjustment before being offered any debt relief.
For insurers and brokers who must comply with the sanctions, some fairly basic insurance transactions with persons or firms in targeted countries or on the Specially Designated Nationals are be prohibited.
While there, she conducted a pioneering study in phases from 1984 to 1988, that surveyed the recordkeeping practices of 30 English-speaking countries of the Commonwealth (countries that were once a part of the British Empire), located in Africa, Asia and the Caribbean.
Countries outside of Latin America have also disobeyed Washington.
Repeatedly, they call for increased "transparency" in the developed countries so that donors feel comfortable giving aid, knowing it won't be siphoned off by corrupt officials.
Nor are other countries in Africa (which has the world's highest rates overall) necessarily seeing declines.
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For trade officials in both countries the result is a considerably narrower domestic scope for making forward-leaning concessions to move negotiations.
Most career guidance services in most countries are paid for by governments, whether at the national, regional, or local level.
In more than half the 87 countries studied, the piracy rate exceeded 60 percent.
This course is specifically designed for those countries that either have weak institutional controls over the armed forces or wish to improve existing structures and procedures.