dam

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(as) busy as a beaver (building a new dam)

Very busy, assiduous, or hardworking. The phrase refers to beavers' reputation for being extremely industrious. Between working two part-time jobs, volunteering on the weekends, and looking after his little brother, Sam's been busy as a beaver this summer. I've been as busy as a beaver building a new dam this year. I've had almost no free time!
See also: beaver, busy, new

dam up

To block something from flowing freely, typically water in a stream, river, etc. A noun or pronoun can be used between "dam" and "up." If we don't dam up the river, this rain will cause a flood.
See also: dam, up

water over the dam

A prior issue or unfortunate past event that is now considered resolved, settled, or forgotten about. That argument we had is just water over the dam now—don't even worry about it. A: "I'm so sorry for bringing up that thing with your father again!" B: "Don't be, that was a long time ago. It's water over the dam."
See also: dam, over, water

water under the bridge

A prior issue that is now resolved or considered resolved. That argument we had is just water under the bridge now—don't even worry about it.
See also: bridge, water

dam something up

to erect a barrier in a river, stream, brook, etc. We are going to have to dam this stream up to make a pond for the cattle. Let's dam up this stream. Why is this river dammed up?
See also: dam, up

water over the dam

 and water under the bridge
Fig. past and unchangeable events. Your quarrel with Lena is water over the dam; now you ought to concentrate on getting along with her. George and I were friends once, but that's all water under the bridge now.
See also: dam, over, water

water over the dam

Also, water under the bridge. Something that is over and done with, especially an unfortunate occurrence. For example, Last year's problems with delivery are water over the dam, or Never mind that old quarrel; that's water under the bridge. These metaphoric phrases allude to water that has flowed over a spillway or under a bridge and thus is gone forever. The first term was first recorded in 1797; the variant dates from the late 1800s.
See also: dam, over, water

water under the bridge

BRITISH, AMERICAN or

water over the dam

AMERICAN
If you say that a bad experience is water under the bridge, you mean that it happened a long time ago and so you do not feel upset or worried about it now. He didn't treat me very well at the time but it's all water under the bridge now. Mr Bruce said that he was relieved it was over and that he regarded his time in jail as water under the bridge. Note: You can also say things such as a lot of water has gone under the bridge to mean that a lot of time has passed or a lot of things have happened since a bad experience. It's almost two years since it happened and a lot of water has gone under the bridge. We're now on speaking terms with Marcia.
See also: bridge, water

water under the bridge

used to refer to events or situations in the past that are no longer to be regarded as important or a source of concern.
The related expression there's been a lot of water under the bridge since — is used to indicate that a lot of time has passed and a great many events have occurred since a particular event. A North American variant is water over the dam .
See also: bridge, water

water under the bridge

A past occurrence, especially something unfortunate, that cannot be undone or rectified: All that is now just water under the bridge.
See also: bridge, water

water over the dam

Over and done with; past. This term, along with the slightly older water under the bridge, is a metaphor for anything finished and irreversible just as water that has once flowed through a spillway or under a bridge is gone forever. Richard Sale combined both metaphors in Passing Strange (1942): “‘That’s water under the dam.’—‘Bridge,’ I said. ‘Or water over the dam.’”
See also: dam, over, water
References in periodicals archive ?
Dammers recently added fresh data to the topic at the Association for Technology in Music Instruction's annual conference in Minneapolis in September.
Charlotte <BChurch arrives for the Ivor Novello Awards where Jerry Dammers, left, picked up the inspiration award
He teamed up with Jerry Dammers and Horace Panter to form The Automatics which eventually became The Specials.
"On April 12 2008, you said to Dr Dammers that you had sewn your lips together in protest about the way you felt that you were being treated in your training and that you were on hunger strike."
Dammers will feature some of his own songs during the session, which is said to include references to Alice Coltrane and Tommy McCook, plus a visually vibrant, spacethemed set.
Clifford Dammers, Secretary-General of IPMA, which represents bond-underwriters from 17 different countries, estimates that the changes could be between three and ten times more expensive that the current system.
He performed in the group with a line-up that included Hillfields born Neville Staple and former King Henry VIII School pupil keyboard player and songwriter Jerry Dammers. The group had a string of hits between 1979 and 1981.
Byline: JERRY DAMMERS The Specials star who wrote FREE NELSON MANDELA recalls effect Mandela had on him
The Specials' founder and songwriter Jerry Dammers is not part of the 30th anniversary reunion but the band has still been pulling in a new crowd
Sites on the trail include Coventry University, where The Beat met Jerry Dammers and signed to 2-Tone Records, Central Library, once the site of Tiffany's where The Beat played, and 51 Albany Road, the birthplace of 2-Tone.
He admits the band - originally a seven-piece consisting of Terry, Jerry Dammers, Neville Staple, Horace Panter, Roddy Byers, Lynval Golding and John Bradbury - had quite a job in getting themselves back on the road after a gap of almost 30 years.
Kicking off festivities on Friday night in Hall One were Jerry Dammers' Spatial A.K.A Orchestra who brought post-apocalyptic psychedelia, infused with dub and free jazz.
In just one weekend Abdullah Ibrahim, Stan Tracey, The Scottish National Jazz Orchestra, Jerry Dammers' Spatial A.K.A.
They have already played alongside illustrious artists like Madness, The Skatalites, Rico, Zion Train, Jerry Dammers, Dub Side of The Moon creators Easy Star All-Stars, and had Studio One diva Dawn Penn and TJ Chill from Afrika Bambaatas Zulu Nation both perform with them.