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Related to country: country music
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.
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!
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."
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.'
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.
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?"
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.
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.
(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.
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.
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.
In a foreign country, often for military service. This phrase is commonly used to refer to US troops in Vietnam during the Vietnam War. Primarily heard in US. He saw unimaginable things while he was in country and still struggles with PTSD as a result.
The states located in the middle of the US, as opposed to those on or near the East and West Coasts. The phrase is typically used derisively to dismiss these states as unimportant, uninteresting, or not worthy of visiting (i.e. the states that one flies over on the way to worthwhile destinations). I want to take a road trip across the US this year and actually experience flyover country for a change. The states in flyover country are just a bunch of rectangles. Do they even have names?
Drunk and, in many cases, rowdy as a result. Whoa, you boys really tore up this hotel room! You must have gotten country drunk last night.
a prophet is not without honor save in his own country
One will not be regarded as a figure of authority or knowledge within one's own community, as the people there will not feel like one has the right to preach to them. Spoken by Jesus in the Bible passage Mark 6:4 in reference to the fact that the people of Nazareth refused to believe in him as a prophet. He has a very large following in parts of Europe and Asia, even though he is largely denounced as a dangerous radical here. A prophet is not without honor save in his own country.
so many countries, so many customs
There are around 200 countries in the world, and each of them has a unique set of social rules about what constitutes appropriate behavior. Just be aware that what you've been taught to consider rude might not be the same elsewhere. In China, for example, it's considered very rude to stick your chopstick upright into a bowl of rice, but spitting in public is considered perfectly acceptable. So many countries, so many customs.
happy is the country which has no history
A lack of history suggests a lack of traumatic or unpleasant events (because those tend to be the things that get recorded or remembered). The more I learn about our country's history, the more I believe that happy is the country which has no history.
in the country of the blind, the one-eyed man is king
Someone with few skills or abilities can impress and wield power over those who have even less to offer. A: "Oh please, Dave's a fool, and the only reason he has any power at all is because he can do lots of odd jobs that the other people around here can't." B: "Wow, I guess it’s true what they say—in the country of the blind, the one-eyed man is king."
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.
Rur. a great distance. The batter knocked that ball a country mile. I had to walk a country mile to the next gas station.
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.
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.
lay it on the lineand 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!
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.
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).
go to the countryBRITISH
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.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 lineor
not your line of countryBRITISH, 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.
a country milea very long way; a very large margin. informal
2001 Sunday Business Post He's definitely the best barrister there – by a country mile.
go (or appeal) to the countrytest public opinion by dissolving Parliament and holding a general election. British
line of countrya subject about which a person is skilled or knowledgeable. British
unknown countryan unfamiliar place or topic.
The Latin equivalent, terra incognita , is also used in English.
it's a free countrysaid when asserting that a course of action is not illegal or forbidden, often in justification of it.
lay (or put) it on the linespeak frankly.
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.
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.
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!
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.
the ˈmother countrythe 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.
mod. alcohol intoxicated; drunk and disorganized. (Folksy.) Them good old boys know how to get 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.
In Vietnam during the period of US military operations there: "He'd been in country a month longer than the other four" (Nelson DeMille).
A visiting unsophisticated relative or friend whose naiveté or rough manners embarrass the host. Such a person became a stock figure of fun in Restoration comedies (of the late seventeenth and early eighteenth centuries). The precise term was current by the second half of the eighteenth century and a cliché by the mid-nineteenth century. Anthony Trollope’s son’s reminiscences (Thomas Adolphus Trollope, What I Remember, 1887) included, “One of the sights of London for country cousins was to see the mails starting.” The term is heard less often today.
A beautiful rural area; also, the back country or provinces, the sticks. This expression, alluding at first to an area considered especially favored by God, originated in the United States during the Civil War. A Union soldier who was imprisoned in the South so referred to the North: “If I could only get out of that horrible den, into God’s country once more” (R. H. Kellogg, Rebel Prisons, 1865).
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.