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Debbie Downer

One who is frequently or excessively pessimistic or discouraging, especially in a way that causes frustration, displeasure, or sadness for others. The phrase was popularized by the 2004 Saturday Night Live skit of the same name. A: "Ugh, this place is boring, and I'm tired of walking everywhere!" B: "Stop being such a Debbie Downer! We're in Paris, for goodness' sake—enjoy yourself a little!" I can't be around a Debbie Downer like Mitch anymore. He never gives our ideas a chance to succeed! Quit being a Debbie Downer and smile for the camera!
See also: downer


1. A bad or depressing thing or situation. Geez, that movie was a real downer. Sorry, I'm being so quiet—this day was just a downer.
2. An unpleasant experience induced by drugs. No, I don't take that stuff anymore—I had a downer last time.
3. A drug that acts as a sedative or a depressant. I guess those drugs were downers because they didn't give me the pick-me-up I'd hoped for.

have a downer on (one)

To dislike one. Primarily heard in UK, Australia. If the boss has a downer on you, I doubt you'll get a good performance review.
See also: downer, have, on

put a downer on (something)

To inhibit something or make it less pleasant or enjoyable; to have a subduing or deadening effect on something. The foul weather really put a downer on our picnic yesterday. Without question, this tax scandal has put a downer on the senator's likelihood of being re-elected. The construction happening near our building has really put a downer on sales this month.
See also: downer, on, put
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2022 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.

have a down on someone/something


have a downer on someone/something

If you have a down on someone or something or you have a downer on them, you do not like them or you disapprove of them. Snobs would have a down on a man with a south London accent. For some reason Jackie has always had a downer on me.
See also: down, have, on, someone, something

put a downer on something

If something or someone puts a downer on an event, they make it less enjoyable. The argument put a downer on our school holiday break.
See also: downer, on, put, something
Collins COBUILD Idioms Dictionary, 3rd ed. © HarperCollins Publishers 2012


and down and downie
1. n. a barbiturate or a tranquilizer. (Drugs.) Too much booze with those downers, and you’re dead.
2. n. a bad drug experience; a down trip. (Drugs.) That stuff you gave me was a real downer.
3. n. a depressing event; a bad situation; a down trip. These cloudy days are always downers.
McGraw-Hill's Dictionary of American Slang and Colloquial Expressions Copyright © 2006 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All rights reserved.
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References in periodicals archive ?
Koizumi and Machimura also conveyed to Downer Japan's support for Australia's bid to join an East Asian summit, the official said.
We understand Downer continues to work on enhancing Spotless's risk-management capabilities and major bid approval processes.
Citing numerous unnamed sources, the New York Times reported Downer had drinks with Trump campaign adviser George Papadopoulos in the UK in May 2016, during which the campaign aide mentioned Russia had "dirt" on Hillary Clinton.
The judge added that it was the right decision for Downer to abandon her appeal.
<BKandyce Downer, 34, who has been convicted of murdering 18-month-old Keegan Downer, right
The jury heard that when paramedics got there Downer said: "I don't know when she stopped breathing because I was in the bath."
Downer argued that "neither side has a position which has the potential to destroy the talks" while each side is thinking about the other`s positions on a whole range of issues.
Bolt is the pin-up of Jamaican sport in the 21st century but, to the dismay of athletics bosses on the island, Downer was denied the chance to compete for the country of his birth in the first modern Olympics, in Greece in 1896.
Downer said areas such as Maralinga, where the British government conducted nuclear testing in the 1950s and 60s, could be ideal.
Downer says it will remain well inside its target leverage range of 25 per cent to 35 per cent.
Downer was convicted of killing his wife at their home in the early hours of June 21 last year.
John William Downer (1843-1915) was a member of a remarkable generation in Australia's political history, and the founder of one of Australia's political dynasties.
Obama should give back Nobel Peace Prize, says ex-Australian FM|World[Adelaide{Adelaide (Australia), Oct.12 (ANI): Former Australian Foreign Minister Alexander Downer has said that US President Barack Obama should be "man enough" to refuse this year's Nobel Peace Prize.
Staffordshire Police yesterday charged Tracey Downer's husband, 32-year-old Simon Downer, of Tinkers Green Road, Wilnecote, Tamworth, of murdering his 40-year-old partner.