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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


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 ?
Each year the Prods restage William's landing, the town council turning out in full regalia, with horses, swords, and pikestaffs at the ready.
Historical records say that the head was mounted on a pikestaff and paraded through London to celebrate the supposed end of Welsh independence.
We have had so many high-profile cases of people falsely accused recently, and who have suffered obvious trauma as a result of their public pillorying, that it should be plain as a pikestaff that anonymity should be granted to the accused to match the anonymity of the accuser.
He patrols the city with his pikestaff, although his present duty has more to do with enchanting the burgeoning tourist trade than to be on guard for any real menace.
40 - 1, PIKESTAFF (D Mernagh) 10-1; 2, Inzarmood 14-1; 3, Ride The Tiger 6-4 Fav.
There it was, sticking out, plain as a pikestaff, like something out of a comic strip.
The gelding was sold at the subsequent auction for 7,000 guineas to an owner in Maurice Barnes' Brampton stable which was later on the mark with Pikestaff in the totesport Handicap Hurdle.
He added: "It is as plain as a pikestaff that an airport such as a regional airport can only be managed, run and developed by the private sector.
The shock result of the day came in the St James Security Handicap Hurdle, won in runaway style by 40-1 shot Pikestaff, despite being 2lb out of the handicap and his rider Ben Orde-Powlett putting up 3lb overweight.
It would be an exaggeration to say the place went mad, but the crowd made their feelings known in pikestaff plain fashion.
Although we are not there yet, the figures are as plain as a pikestaff.
After Gospel Song had gone out in front from flagfall, he was passed at the second flight by Pikestaff, who was sent into a clear advantage, but was never going to stay at the head of affairs.
That he killed her is clear and it is as plain as a pikestaff,' said Mr Crigman.
It's as plain as a pikestaff that she's feeling neglected and forgotten by Dick.
Even the most witless could grasp the pikestaff plainness of it all - the Pipe horses were fitter than the others, marching to a different beat of the drum.