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(as) stiff as a poker

Very straight, rigid, or inflexible. Used to describe someone's physical posture or demeanor. The whole class sat in their chairs as stiff as pokers during the principal's lecture. He stood as stiff as a poker after his name was called, too nervous to move. Remember to stand as stiff as a poker during the ceremony. They don't want to see any cadets slouching.
See also: poker, stiff

have a poker up (one's) butt

1. vulgar slang To be very stiff, rigid, or inflexible in one's posture or demeanor. The guy trundled around the stage so gracelessly and awkwardly, as if he had a poker up his butt. You'd think she has a poker up her butt from the way she sits in class.
2. vulgar slang To be very rigid or inflexible in one's opinions or beliefs. My grandfather had a real poker up his butt when it came to people living together or having children before marriage.
3. vulgar slang To be irritable, unfriendly, or humorless. Geez, it was just a joke—you must have a poker up your butt or something. I wouldn't mess around with Mr. Daniels, he's got a poker up his butt today.
See also: butt, have, poker, up

poker face

A blank, emotionless expression that gives no indication of one's thoughts or intentions. Poker players use such an expression so as not to give their opponents any clues about which cards they are holding. I kept looking over to see if she was impressed, but she wore a poker face throughout the performance. Now, make sure you keep your poker face on for these negotiations—we can't let them know where we stand.
See also: face, poker
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2022 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.

*stiff as a poker

rigid and inflexible; stiff and awkward. (Usually used to describe people. *Also: as ~.) This guy's dead. He's cold and as stiff as a poker. John is not a very good dancer; he's stiff as a poker.
See also: poker, stiff
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of American Idioms and Phrasal Verbs. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.

poker face

A visage lacking any expression that can be interpreted, as in Whenever Betty attended one of her children's performances, she managed to keep a poker face . This term alludes to the facial expression of a poker player who is expert at concealing his feelings about his hand. [c. 1880]
See also: face, poker

stiff as a board

Also, stiff as a poker. Inflexible, rigidly formal, unbending, as in This cloth is stiff as a board; what happened to it? or There he stood, stiff as a poker, unwilling to give an inch. The board in the first simile for rigidity is a slab of wood; the second, alluding to the iron implement used to push around logs in open fires, dates from the late 1700s.
See also: board, stiff
The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer. Copyright © 2003, 1997 by The Christine Ammer 1992 Trust. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

stiff as a board

If you or your body are as stiff as a board, you are very stiff. You'll achieve flexibility very quickly with these exercises — even if you're as stiff as a board at your first session. His lower back felt as stiff as a board.
See also: board, stiff
Collins COBUILD Idioms Dictionary, 3rd ed. © HarperCollins Publishers 2012

(as) stiff as a ˈboard

(of things) very firm and difficult to bend or move: He left his gloves outside in the snow, and when he found them again they were as stiff as a board.
See also: board, stiff

(as) stiff as a ˈpoker

(informal) (usually of people) very straight or upright in the way you sit or stand: The old lady was sitting upright in her chair, stiff as a poker.
See also: poker, stiff
Farlex Partner Idioms Dictionary © Farlex 2017

poker face, a

Total lack of expression; deadpan. This term comes from gambling, where the astute player tries not to betray the quality of his or her hand by remaining expressionless. Originating in the late nineteenth century, the term was transferred to other areas in which individuals tried hard not to betray their thoughts. C. E. Mulford used it in his western novel, Rustler’s Valley (1924): “He glanced around the circle and found poker faces.”
See also: poker

stiff as a board

Rigid, inflexible. This common simile for being unbending is replacing the earlier stiff as a poker, probably because central heating has made fireplace implements like pokers less common household items. Stiff as a poker dates from the eighteenth century; it appeared in numerous sources, such as “Stuck up as stiff as a poker” (George Colman, Jr., The Heir at Law, 1797). Earlier still was stiff as a stake (sixteenth century), which is now obsolete.
See also: board, stiff
The Dictionary of Clichés by Christine Ammer Copyright © 2013 by Christine Ammer
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