polish


Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Medical, Legal, Acronyms, Encyclopedia, Wikipedia.

polish a turd

slang To make something unpleasant seem more appealing than it really is—which is often a futile effort. "Turd" is a slang term for a piece of feces. Look, man, your term paper was bad before, and all of your edits are just making it worse—polishing a turd won't make it better.
See also: polish, turd

you can't polish a turd

You can't make something unpleasant seem more appealing than it really is—attempting to do so is often a futile effort. "Turd" is a slang term for a piece of feces. Look, man, your term paper was bad before, and all of your edits are just making it worse—you can't polish a turd, you know.
See also: polish, turd

polish (something) off

To consume, dispose of, or finish all of something very quickly or easily. I was still hungry after dinner, so I polished off the leftover Chinese food in the fridge. I'll come to the party a little later; I just need to polish off this essay first.
See also: off, polish

polish something off

to eat, consume, exhaust, or complete all of something. Who polished the cake off? Who polished off the cake?
See also: off, polish

polish something up

to rub something until it shines. Polish the silver up and make it look nice and shiny. If you will polish up the silver, I will put it away.
See also: polish, up

spit and polish

orderliness; ceremonial precision and orderliness. I like spit and polish. It comes from being in the military. There is no such thing as too much spit and polish.
See also: and, polish, spit

polish off

Finish or dispose of, especially quickly and easily. For example, We polished off the pie in no time, or If everyone helps, we can polish off this job today. This usage, dating from the early 1800s, came from boxing, where it originally meant "to defeat an opponent quickly and easily." By the 1830s it was used more generally.
See also: off, polish

polish the apple

Try to win favor through flattery, as in It may help your standing with the boss if you polish the apple. This expression gave rise to the phrase apple polishing. The idiom alludes to the practice of schoolchildren bringing their teacher the gift of a bright, shiny apple. [c. 1920]
See also: apple, polish

spit and polish

Close attention to appearance and order, as in With a little spit and polish this house will sell very quickly. This expression originated in the military, presumably alluding to literally shining up something with the aid of a little saliva. There it also came to mean "too much attention to appearance, and not enough to more important concerns," as in The commander is so concerned with spit and polish that he overlooks the crew's morale. [Late 1800s]
See also: and, polish, spit

spit and polish

Spit and polish is the process of making a place or person very clean. There is a bit of spit and polish involved. Boots have to be clean and shining.
See also: and, polish, spit

spit and polish

extreme neatness or smartness.
See also: and, polish, spit

spit and ˈpolish

(informal) cleaning and polishing: This table will look as good as new with a bit of spit and polish.
See also: and, polish, spit

polish off

v.
1. To make something clean or shiny: The student polished off the apple and handed it to the teacher. I polished the vase off with a cloth and set it on the table.
2. To eliminate something, such as rust or a stain by rubbing: Please polish that spot off the doorknob. After much scrubbing, I finally polished off the stain.
3. Slang To finish or consume something enthusiastically: I polished off that last piece of cake. After we polish this pizza off, let's get dessert.
See also: off, polish

polish up

v.
1. To make something smooth and shiny by rubbing or chemical action: The jeweler polished up the stones and made them into a necklace. She cleaned the mud off her shoes and polished them up.
2. To improve one's knowledge of something, especially through study and practice: I've been polishing up on my Spanish because I'm going to Mexico. My dancing skills weren't that good, so I took a class to polish them up.
3. To improve or refine something: The mayor tried to polish up his image after the scandal. The manuscript is good, but you need to polish it up if you want it to be published.
See also: polish, up

shoe polish

n. liquor; whiskey; inferior whiskey. The old lush would be delighted to get some of your shoe polish.
See also: polish, shoe

spit and polish

n. orderliness; ceremonial precision and orderliness. (Alludes to carefully polishing shoes to a high level of shine.) I like spit and polish. It comes from being in the military.
See also: and, polish, spit

nail polish on a hangnail

Ugly or useless despite an attractive appearance. This phrase, which is most often heard in “You can put nail polish on a hangnail, but it's still a hangnail,” can be used in all sorts of situations . . . and for all sorts of people.
See also: nail, on, polish
References in periodicals archive ?
The Polish Embassy in Abu Dhabi and the Polish community in the UAE established PBG in 2006 with an objective to promote Polish companies, brands, work ethics, and the Polish culture in the UAE.
Here it is seen performing at the festive celebrations at the Polish Club in 1965 attended by around 500 people.
Alenia Aermacchi added : "Alenia Aermacchi is expecting that the potential technology and workload centered around the M-346 success in AJT (advanced jet trainer) acquisition could trace the path for a strong and successful cooperation between Alenia Aermacchi and the Polish Aerospace Industry, for the most effective AJT Fleet management in support of Polish Air Force requirements, as well as for the exploitation of the widest possibilities of industrial synergies for future commercial and military aerospace programs".
Furthermore, there is only a limited number of publications on this topic, especially in regard to the second wave of Polish migrants, and no publications which explicitly differentiate the second generation in terms of endogamous (i.
I don't like to have my buffing wheels turning over about 1750 rpm The faster your buffer turns, the more centrifugal force comes into play to throw the polish off the surface of the wheel.
Kasia Miller, deputy head of the new school, said: "The Polish Saturday School has got off to a great start and we are looking forward to strengthening our links with the Welsh culture and community in the coming years by exchanging customs, cultures and traditions.
Tesco launched its Polish food range in just 102 stores in September 2006, but following unexpectedly strong growth now sells Polish food in more UK stores than in Poland, where it has 245 stores.
Staff say the Polish advertisements in British newspapers are the latest attempt to promote the account.
We have many Polish customers, and our instore bakers are always keen to try their hand at producing new and exciting breads.
The Woman Question in the Kingdom of Poland during the Nineteenth Century: A Bibliographical Essay," in Women in Polish Society, 177-219.
Since I'm in the beauty business, I thought of nail polish, since it's something everybody could afford.
Indeed, it might be said that Singer is a Jewish-American writer, who was born and lived in Poland and his works were much influenced by his Polish background and that Milosz is a Polish-American writer born in Lithuania into a Polish-Lithuanian family.
Mosca's Polish oeuvre here receives its first in-depth treatment in English.
There are around a million Poles who call Britain home, and now a Polish university is setting up a campus in England to help them continue their studies as they work here.
HANDSWORTH has become a popular place for Polish people to settle when they first arrive in the UK.
Full browser ?