flower

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flower

1. The best example or greatest representative of a group. Margaret was long considered the flower of her graduating class.
2. The best state or prime condition of something. It was in the flower of my youth that I knew I wanted to be a great writer.
3. slang The vagina, especially the labia majora and the labia minora.
4. slang An effeminate, weak, ineffectual, or cowardly man or boy. Don't be such a flower, Jimmy, stand up for yourself and fight him!
5. A term of endearment, often toward a girl or woman. Primarily heard in UK, Ireland. Ah, my little flower! Come here and give your auntie a kiss! Here you are, me auld flower, two tickets to the show, as promised!

flower of the flock

The best person or thing in a group. Your cupcakes are just the flower of the flock—there is no better item at the bake sale. She's the best we've got, the flower of the flock, so you should absolutely put her on this case.
See also: flock, flower, of

April showers bring May flowers

Poor, often rainy weather in April can prove beneficial to blooming plantlife in May. A: "Ugh, will it ever stop raining?" B: "April showers bring may flowers, at least."
See also: bring, flower, may, shower

the flower of (something)

The finest, most vital, or most exemplary part of something. Though many worry the legislation will hamper trade with foreign countries, I'm hopeful that it will help nurture and cultivate the flower of local industries. The community has been struggling to come to terms with the death of the three boys, all struck down in the flower of youth.
See also: flower, of

April showers bring May flowers.

Prov. Although rain in April is annoying, it starts the flowers growing. Child: I hate all this rain. Why does it have to rain? Mother: April showers bring May flowers. Although it was a dreary, rainy day, we felt cheerful, since April showers bring May flowers.
See also: bring, flower, may, shower

the flower of —

the finest individuals out of a number of people or things.
Middle and early modern English did not recognize the modern distinction in spelling and sense between flower and flour , and the earliest instances of this expression relate to the sense that in modern English would be spelt flour , referring to the finest part of the wheat.
1991 Pat Robertson New World Order This vainglorious conqueror wasted the flower of French youth on his own personal dreams of empire.
See also: flower, of

hearts and flowers

used in allusion to extreme sentimentality.
See also: and, flower, heart

the flower of something

(literary) the finest or best part of something: The people of the village will never forget the war and their young men, killed in the flower of youth.
See also: flower, of, something

hearts and flowers

n. sentimentality. I didn’t care for the hearts and flowers part.
See also: and, flower, heart
References in classic literature ?
O plead with gentle words for us, And whisper tenderly Of generous love to that cold heart, And it will answer ye; And though you fade in a dreary home, Yet loving hearts will tell Of the joy and peace that you have given: Flowers, dear flowers, farewell
The morning sun looked softly down upon the broad green earth, which like a mighty altar was sending up clouds of perfume from its breast, while flowers danced gayly in the summer wind, and birds sang their morning hymn among the cool green leaves.
Dreary gardens lay around, filled with withered flowers and bare, drooping trees; while heavy clouds hung low in the dark sky, and a cold wind murmured sadly through the wintry air.
He goes to the plinth beside the flower girl; puts up his foot on it; and stoops to turn down his trouser ends].
THE FLOWER GIRL [taking advantage of the military gentleman's proximity to establish friendly relations with him].
So they picked up Toto and put the dog in Dorothy's lap, and then they made a chair with their hands for the seat and their arms for the arms and carried the sleeping girl between them through the flowers.
On and on they walked, and it seemed that the great carpet of deadly flowers that surrounded them would never end.
But if you wish to see the Flower Queen's daughter go up the second mountain: the Dragon's old mother lives there, and she has a ball every night, to which the Flower Queen's daughter goes regularly.
The Flower Queen's daughter was delighted to see him safe and sound, and when they were dancing together she whispered in his ear: 'If you succeed again to-morrow, wait for me with the foal in the meadow.
He therefore bought a telescope, which enabled him to watch as accurately as did the owner himself every progressive development of the flower, from the moment when, in the first year, its pale seed-leaf begins to peep from the ground, to that glorious one, when, after five years, its petals at last reveal the hidden treasures of its chalice.
Just then the Tulip Society of Haarlem offered a prize for the discovery (we dare not say the manufacture) of a large black tulip without a spot of colour, a thing which had not yet been accomplished, and was considered impossible, as at that time there did not exist a flower of that species approaching even to a dark nut brown.
As sprang that yellow star from downy hours Up rose the maiden from her shrine of flowers, And bent o'er sheeny mountain and dim plain
Young flowers were whispering in melody To happy flowers that night - and tree to tree ; Fountains were gushing music as they fell In many a star-lit grove, or moon-lit dell ; Yet silence came upon material things - Fair flowers, bright waterfalls and angel wings - And sound alone that from the spirit sprang Bore burthen to the charm the maiden sang :
We are holding an Inquest," Lady Muriel said, advancing to meet us: "and we admit you, as Accessories before the Fact, to tell us all you know about those flowers.
The flowers have disappeared in the night," she went on, turning to Arthur, "and we are quite sure no one in the house has meddled with them.