marble

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mouthful of marbles

A phrase used to describe the speech of someone who mumbles when talking. I have such a hard time understanding him—he always sounds like he has a mouthful of marbles.
See also: marble, mouthful, of

all the marbles

All possible prizes or rewards. Typically used in the phrase "for all the marbles," which is said when one is on the verge of victory. He is currently in first place, so his final putt is for all the marbles!
See also: all, marble

lose (one's) marbles

To be or become mentally deficient, incompetent, or deranged; to become of unsound mind. My poor grandmother started losing her marbles after she had a stroke. I've been so sleep deprived lately that it feels like I've lost my marbles!
See also: lose, marble

pick up (one's) marbles and go home

To abandon or withdraw from a project, situation, or activity in a petulant manner because one does not like way in which it is progressing. It seems that the governor is ready to pick up his marbles and go home if the state senate isn't willing to increase the funds for the redevelopment scheme. The danger of relying on a private organization to fund a political campaign is that they may pick up their marbles and go home if the candidate doesn't do everything that's in the company's interest.
See also: and, home, marble, pick, up

pick up (one's) marbles and leave

To abandon or withdraw from a project, situation, or activity in a petulant manner because one does not like way in which it is progressing. It seems that the governor is ready to pick up his marbles and leave if the state senate isn't willing to increase the funds for the redevelopment scheme. The danger of relying on a private organization to fund a political campaign is that they may pick up their marbles and leave if the candidate doesn't do everything that's in the company's interest.
See also: and, leave, marble, pick, up

have all (one's) marbles

To be mentally sound or stable. Now that I've gotten a good night's sleep, I'm starting to feel like I have all my marbles again. Grandma still has all her marbles, in spite of her other health problems.
See also: all, have, marble

be missing some of (one's) marbles

To be or become mentally deficient, incompetent, or deranged; to become of unsound mind. My poor grandmother is missing some of her marbles after her stroke. I've been so sleep deprived lately that it feels like I'm missing some of my marbles!
See also: marble, missing, of

marble city

1. A cemetery. (A reference to headstones and monuments.) My wife and I went to book a plot of land in the marble city for when the time comes.
2. A yard or other area featuring many statues. The bizarre site is a marble city where the many statued visages and iconography of the former regime have been preserved.
See also: city, marble

marble orchard

1. A cemetery. (A reference to headstones and monuments.) My wife and I went to book a plot of land in the marble orchard for when the time comes.
2. A yard or other area featuring many statues. The bizarre site is a marble orchard where the many statued visages and iconography of the former regime have been preserved.
See also: marble, orchard

*all the marbles

Fig. all the winnings, spoils, or rewards. (*Typically: end up with ~; get ~; win ~; give someone ~.) Somehow Fred always seems to end up with all the marbles. I don't think he plays fair.
See also: all, marble

*cold as a welldigger's ass (in January)

 and *cold as a welldigger's feet (in January); *cold as a witch's caress; *cold as marble; *cold as a witch's tit; *cold as a welldigger's ears (in January)
very, very cold; chilling. (Use caution with ass. *Also: as ~.) Bill: How's the weather where you are? Tom: Cold as a welldigger's ass in January. By the time I got in from the storm, I was as cold as a welldigger's feet. The car's heater broke, so it's as cold as a welldigger's ears to ride around in it. She gave me a look as cold as a witch's caress.
See also: ass, cold

have all one's marbles

Fig. to have all one's mental faculties; to be mentally sound. (Very often with a negative or said to convey doubt.) I don't think he has all his marbles. Do you think Bob has all his marbles?
See also: all, have, marble

lose (all) one's marbles

 and lose one's mind
Fig. to go crazy; to go out of one's mind. What a silly thing to say! Have you lost your marbles? Look at Sally jumping up and down and screaming. Is she losing all her marbles? I can't seem to remember anything. I think I'm losing my mind.
See also: lose, marble

not have all one's marbles

Fig. not to have all one's mental capacities. John acts as if he doesn't have all his marbles. I'm afraid that I don't have all my marbles all the time.
See also: all, have, marble, not

have all one's buttons

Also, have all one's marbles. Be completely sane and rational. For example, Grandma may be in a wheelchair, but she still has all her buttons, or I'm not sure he has all his marbles. These slangy expressions date from the mid-1800s, as do the antonyms lose or be missing some of one's buttons or marbles , meaning "become (or be) mentally deficient."
See also: all, button, have

lose one's marbles

See also: lose, marble

lose your marbles

INFORMAL
If you lose your marbles, you become crazy. At 83 I haven't lost my marbles and my memory is, thank God, as clear as it ever was. People are talking about him as if he's lost his marbles. Note: You can also say that someone has all their marbles, meaning that they are not crazy. He's in his eighties but he clearly still has all his marbles.
See also: lose, marble

pick up your marbles and go home

AMERICAN
If you pick up your marbles and go home, you leave a situation or activity in which you are involved because you are angry about what is happening. They called it the dirtiest Olympics ever and briefly threatened to pick up their marbles and go home. Note: You usually use this expression to suggest that someone is wrong to do this. Note: The reference here is to a player in a game of marbles who is annoyed about losing and therefore stops playing and takes the marbles away so that nobody else can play either.
See also: and, home, marble, pick, up

lose your marbles

go insane; become irrational or senile. informal
Marbles as a term for ‘a person's mental faculties’ probably originated as early 20th-century American slang. The underlying reference is apparently to the children's game played with multicoloured glass balls.
1998 Spectator At least, that is how I recall the event, but I am losing my marbles.
See also: lose, marble

marble orchard

a cemetery. informal humorous
See also: marble, orchard

pick up your marbles and go home

withdraw petulantly from an activity after having suffered a setback. informal, chiefly US
The image here is of a child who refuses sulkily to continue playing the game of marbles.
See also: and, home, marble, pick, up

lose your ˈmarbles

(informal) become crazy or mentally confused: They say the old man has lost his marbles because of the strange things he’s been saying, but I’m not so sure.
See also: lose, marble

have all one’s marbles

tv. to have all one’s mental faculties; to be mentally sound. (see also lose (all) one’s marbles. Have got can replace have.) I don’t think he has all his marbles.
See also: all, have, marble

lose (all) one’s marbles

tv. to become crazy. (see also have all one’s marbles.) Have you lost all your marbles?
See also: all, lose, marble

lose one’s marbles

verb
See also: lose, marble

marble dome

n. a stupid person. (Someone who has marble where brains should be.) The guy’s a marble dome. He has no knowledge of what’s going on around him.
See also: dome, marble

marble orchard

and Marble City
n. a cemetery. I already bought a little plot in a marble orchard. There is a huge Marble City south of town.
See also: marble, orchard

Marble City

verb
See also: city, marble
References in classic literature ?
The high marble wall extended all around the place and shut out all the rest of the world.
In this square were some pretty trees and a statue in bronze of Glinda the Good, while beyond it were the portals of the Royal Palace--an extensive and imposing building of white marble covered with a filigree of frosted gold.
These houses, solid marble palaces though they be, are in many cases of a dull pinkish color, outside, and from pavement to eaves are pictured with Genoese battle scenes, with monstrous Jupiters and Cupids, and with familiar illustrations from Grecian mythology.
We are ready to move again, though we are not really tired yet of the narrow passages of this old marble cave.
Then Ojo went to Unc Nunkie and kissed the old man's marble face very tenderly.
I'm going to try to save you, Unc," he said, just as if the marble image could hear him; and then he shook the crooked hand of the Crooked Magician, who was already busy hanging the four kettles in the fireplace, and picking up his basket left the house.
Heavy winter rains held them prisoners for two weeks in the Marble House.
As they halted at the foot of the marble steps, the proud gaze of Tara of Helium rested upon the enthroned figure of the man above her.
Four of the bailiff of the palace's sergeants, perfunctory guardians of all the pleasures of the people, on days of festival as well as on days of execution, stood at the four corners of the marble table.
Slowly the marble flagging was sinking in all directions toward the centre.
Every little while they caught new glimpses of the marble palace, which looked more and more beautiful the nearer they approached it.
Polychrome leaped out lightly after them, and they were greeted by a crowd of gorgeously dressed servants who bowed low as the visitors mounted the marble steps.
Two women-servants came out with pails and brooms and brushes, and gave the sidewalk a thorough scrubbing; meanwhile two others scrubbed the four marble steps which led up to the door; beyond these we could see some men-servants taking up the carpet of the grand staircase.
He saw, or thought he saw, a woman in white, yesterday evening, as he was passing the churchyard; and the figure, real or fancied, was standing by the marble cross, which he and every one else in Limmeridge knows to be the monument over Mrs.
Unnumbered waves Have broidered with green moss the marble folds About her feet.