pikestaff


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(as) plain as a pikestaff

Very obvious or noticeable; very easy to understand. It's plain as a pikestaff that they like each other— they've been flirting all night! In the end, the solution was as plain as a pikestaff.
See also: pikestaff, plain

*plain as day

 and *plain as a pikestaff 
1. Cliché very plain and simple. (*Also: as ~.) Although his face was as plain as day, his smile made him look interesting and friendly. Fred: I have a suspicion that Marcia is upset with me. Alan: A suspicion? Come on, Fred, that's been plain as a pikestaff for quite some time! 2. and *plain as the nose On one's face Cliché clear and understandable. (*Also: as ~.) The lecture was as plain as day. No one had to ask questions. Jane: I don't understand why Professor Potter has been so friendly this week. Alan: It's plain as the nose on your face. He wants to be nominated for Professor of the Year.
See also: plain

plain as day

Also, plain as the nose on your face. Very obvious, quite clear, as in It's plain as day that they must sell their house before they can buy another, or It's plain as the nose on your face that she's lying. These similes have largely replaced the earlier plain as a packstaff or pikestaff, from the mid-1500s, alluding to the stick on which a peddler carried his wares over his shoulder. The first term, from the late 1800s, is probably a shortening of plain as the sun at midday; the variant dates from the late 1600s.
See also: plain

plain as day

or

plain as the nose on your face

If something is as plain as day or as plain as the nose on your face, it is very easy to see, or obvious and easy to understand. He was lying there plain as day, in his hospital gown. It's plain as the nose on your face that this company is wildly undervalued. Note: In old-fashioned British English, you can also say that something is plain as a pikestaff. I saw your grandmother this morning, here as plain as a pikestaff, at the foot of my bed. Note: This expression was originally `plain as a packstaff'. A packstaff was a long stick that pedlars used to carry their bundles. The word `pikestaff' was substituted at a later time: a pikestaff was a long walking stick. Both packstaffs and pikestaffs were very plain and simple.
See also: plain

plain as day (or the nose on your face)

very obvious. informal
See also: plain

plain as a pikestaff

1 very obvious. 2 ordinary or unattractive in appearance.
This phrase is an alteration of plain as a packstaff , which dates from the mid 16th century, the staff being that of a pedlar, on which he rested his pack of goods for sale. The version with pikestaff had developed by the end of the 16th century
See also: pikestaff, plain

(as) plain as a ˈpikestaff

,

(as) plain as ˈday

,

(as) plain as the nose on your ˈface

(informal) easy to see or understand; obvious: It’s as plain as a pikestaff; this government is ruining the economy.You can’t miss the sign, it’s right there, as plain as the nose on your face.
See also: pikestaff, plain
References in periodicals archive ?
But a rather different picture emerges in The Boer War by Denis Judd and Keith Surridge (John Murray pounds 25) when they say: 'It is now plain as a pikestaff that Chamberlain connived at Rhodes's plan for an invasion of the Transvaal.'
They have loosened the ties of their Sunday suits, and despite the rain, a man with a pikestaff is having a lie-down in the fast lane.
He also played up the chances of the UK doing a trade deal with the US quickly, saying: "It's plain as a pikestaff to me in Washington that we would be the first choice to get on with it in March."
However, Mr Macdonald said: "It's as clear as a pikestaff, in legislation that is a duty, not a discretion.
"Although I accept this was an impromptu offence after you saw the lady leave her car and leave the door open, and it was only ever intended to be a theft, the risk the owner would see you and try to stop you was plain as a pikestaff.
Judge Niclas Parry told Mold Crown Court yesterday it was "plain as a pikestaff" that they had foreknowledge of the burglaries.
SOME weeks ago and before Madame Theresa of the Vicarage had announced the imminent fait accompli massacre it was as plain as a pikestaff that Wales needed a seismic political change.
It is as plain as a pikestaff that Sterling should be sold to the highest bidder as soon as possible.
Of course, there is no real end to a supporter's relationship with the manager or owner - there is no point you think "right, we're the real deal now and this will continue for ever", the next dip in results will see the return of the 'head on a pikestaff' train of thought.
"Since the ordinance in questions admits [of] no such exception or exemption, it is clear as a pikestaff that the OSCA has overstepped the bounds of its mandate.
But Tory MP David Davis said it was "plain as a pikestaff" that he should have been recalled earlier.
It's as plain as a pikestaff that they should have reduced them this time.
The rally continues, even though C-S maintains that "it's as plain as a pikestaff" that the reason McGrath was told not to include those opinions was because they conflicted with the opinions held by Ray Murrihy, the prosecution's expert witness.
We participated in our piece of street theatre as our little party was escorted to the door of the house by one of Cromwell's soldiers who wrapped on the wooden door with his pikestaff to the gawking bewilderment of passers by.
Do they deserve that for misinterpreting the signs at the end of a boozy evening, even if the signs appear as plain as a pikestaff?