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a lonely little petunia in an onion patch
One who is out of place among those one finds unpleasant, uncouth, or overly aggressive. Taken from a 1946 song of the same name by Johnny Kimano, Billy Faber, and Maurie Hartmann. I'm feeling really uncomfortable in this rowdy sports bar, like a lonely little petunia in an onion patch.
a lean patch
A period of failure, decline, or poor performance or results. Almost every new business experiences a lean patch at some point or another.
go through a lean patch
To experience or be in the midst of a period of failure, decline, or poor performance or results. Her business has been going through a bit of a lean patch lately. If things don't pick up soon, she might have to close shop. Though the team has gone through a lean patch in recent years, they still have a very devoted fanbase.
have a lean patch
To experience or be in the midst of a period of failure, decline, or poor performance or results. Her business has had a bit of a lean patch lately. if things don't pick up soon, she might have to close shop. Though the team has been having a lean patch in recent years, they still have a very devoted fanbase.
a rough patch
A period of trouble, difficulty, or hardship. Almost every new business experiences a rough patch at some point or another.
go through a rough patch
To experience or be in the midst of a period of trouble, difficulty, or hardship. Her business has been going through a bit of a rough patch lately. If things don't pick up soon, she might have to close shop. Our marriage went through a rough patch after Frank lost his job, but now, we love each other more than ever.
have a rough patch
To experience or be in the midst of a period of trouble, difficulty, or hardship. Her business has had a bit of a rough patch lately. If things don't pick up soon, she might have to close shop. We had a rough patch in our marriage after Frank lost his job, but now, we love each other more than ever.
tear up the pea patch
obsolete To go on or indulge in a wild outburst, spree, or rampage. (Used largely in relation to sports, especially baseball, where the phrase originated in reference to players running amok and ruining the game.) Primarily heard in US. Another fight has broken out between the two teams. These boys are positively tearing up the pea patch! A few rowdy types entered the bar and tore up the pea patch. They didn't even pay for anything!
1. A section of writing that is showy and extravagant and often stands out in contrast to the rest of the writing in a piece. I don't want to see a single purple patch in these research papers, class. Focus on communicating the facts!
2. A period marked by much success or good luck. Primarily heard in UK. After falling behind early, the team hit a purple patch and scored three quick goals to tie the game. We had few lean years, but our business is finally in a purple patch now, thank goodness.
be (not) a patch on
To be just as good as someone or something else. Often used in the negative to emphasize someone or something's inadequacy. Primarily heard in UK, Australia. Alice is a patch on the lead actress in the school play, which is why she was chosen as the understudy. I loved my old boss—this new guy is not a patch on her.
patch (one) up
To treat someone's wound, injury, or illness. I know you're hurting, but the doctors here will patch you up. He's badly dehydrated from the vomiting, but I night in the hospital with an IV drip will patch him up.
patch (something) up
1. Literally, to mend, repair, or service something to the point of being functional or whole again, especially temporarily. The boat had a major gash in it after the accident, so we used some spare sheet metal to patch it up. John patched up the hose with an old bike tube.
2. To resolve a relationship damaged by a disagreement or dispute. A: "Janet and I aren't talking anymore." B: "Oh sweetie, that's too bad. I hope you two can patch things up." I tried to patch up my dispute with Marcy, but she isn't ready to forgive me.
patch a quarrel up
Fig. to put an end to a quarrel; to reconcile quarreling parties. Tom and Fred were able to patch their quarrel up. I hope we can patch up this quarrel.
patch someone up
to give medical care to someone. That cut looks bad, but the doc over there can patch you up. The doc patched up my friend.
patch something together (with something)
to use something to repair something hastily or temporarily. I think I can patch the exhaust pipe together with some wire. See if you can patch this engine together well enough to run for a few more hours.
patch something up
1. Lit. to repair something in a hurry; to make something temporarily serviceable again. Can you patch this up so I can use it again? I'll patch up the hose for you.
2. Fig. to "repair" the damage done by an argument or disagreement. Mr. and Mrs. Smith are trying to patch things up. We patched up our argument, then kissed and made up.
Mend or repair, make whole. For example, He managed to patch up the lawn mower so it's running, or John cut his hand badly, but they patched him up in the emergency room, or Mike and Molly have patched up their differences. This term alludes to mending something by putting patches of material on it. [Second half of 1500s]
go through a rough patch
If something or someone goes through a rough patch, they experience a period when they have problems. The family business was going through a rough patch. Many of the cast are famous film actors going through a bad patch. Note: You can also say that someone or something hits a rough patch or hits a bad patch if they start to experience problems. Any artist with a successful career sometimes hits a rough patch.
not a patch on someone/somethingBRITISH, INFORMAL
COMMON If one person or thing is not a patch on another, the first is not nearly as good as the second. He was handsome, she thought, but not a patch on Alex. The facilities aren't a patch on those of richer schools, but the boys think they're terrific. Note: This is probably a shortened version of `not fit to be a patch on', suggesting a piece of cloth that is not good enough to be used as a patch to mend a hole in a good piece of clothing.
not a patch ongreatly inferior to. British informal
1991 Mavis Nicholson Martha Jane & Me We thought the uniform of our soldiers was ‘pathetic’, not a patch on the American soldiers' uniform.
a purple patchan ornate or elaborate passage in a literary composition.
This term is a translation of Latin purpureus pannus , and comes from the Roman poet Horace's Ars Poetica: ‘Works of serious purpose and grand promises often have a purple patch or two stitched on, to shine far and wide’.
a thing of shreds and patchessomething made up of scraps of fabric patched together. literary
In the third act of Hamlet, the prince describes his uncle Claudius, who has usurped the throne, as ‘a king of shreds and patches’; this description was parodied by W. S. Gilbert in The Mikado as ‘a thing of shreds and patches’.
go through, hit, etc. a ˈbad/ˈsticky patchcome to a difficult time in your business, marriage, etc: We’ve struck a bad patch in our marriage. ♢ High inflation meant that her business went through a sticky patch.
not be a ˈpatch on somebody/something(informal, especially British English) not be nearly as good as somebody/something: The film isn’t a patch on the book.
1. To mend or fix something that has separated or has holes by using some material to reconnect its parts: I patched up my jeans with that fabric. I bought a sewing kit and patched my jacket up.
2. To cover some hole or gap with some material: She patched up the hole in my jeans. He patched up the rip in the drapes.
3. To resolve some problem or conflict: The delegates must patch up their differences.