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prunes and prisms

Intentionally formal and/or prudish speech or action. The phrase originated in Charles Dickens' novel Little Dorrit as an example of proper speech. When you talk to your grandmother, stick to prunes and prisms so that you don't offend her. If you want to become a proper lady, practice saying "prunes and prisms"!
See also: and, prune

prune something away

to cut away something unwanted or unneeded. Please prune the lower branches of the trees away. They are starting to annoy pedestrians. We pruned away the dead branches.
See also: away, prune

prune something of something

to clear, clean, or groom something of something by pruning. Sally was out in the orchard pruning the apple trees of dead branches. They pruned the roses of their unneeded branches.
See also: of, prune

prune something off (of) something

 and prune something off
to cut something off something. (Of is usually retained before pronouns.) Claire pruned the dead branch off the apple tree. She pruned off the dead branch.
See also: off, prune

full of beans

1. Lively, energetic, in high spirits, as in The children were full of beans today, looking forward to their field trip. This expression has no valid explanation. [c. 1840]
2. Also, full of prunes. Acting foolish, talking nonsense, as in One cup of coffee won't hurt you-you're full of prunes. [c. 1930] Also see full of crap.
See also: bean, full, of

full of beans

If you are full of beans, you are very happy and energetic. Jem was among them, pink-cheeked and full of beans after his long sleep. He's a likable extrovert, full of beans. Note: This originally referred to a horse that was well-fed and therefore full of energy.
See also: bean, full, of

full of beans

lively; in high spirits. informal
This phrase was originally used by people who work with horses, and referred to the good condition of a horse fed on beans.
See also: bean, full, of

prunes and prisms

used to denote a prim and affected speech, look, or manner.
In Charles Dickens's Little Dorrit ( 1857 ), Mrs General advocates speaking this phrase aloud in order to give ‘a pretty form to the lips’.
See also: and, prune

full of ˈbeans

very lively, active and healthy: Ray is certainly full of beans again after his illness.This phrase was originally used to talk about horses that were fed on beans.
See also: bean, full, of

full of beans

mod. full of nonsense; full of hot air. Oh, be quiet. You’re just full of beans.
See also: bean, full, of

full of prunes

mod. full of nonsense. (see also full of beans. Prunes can cause gas = hot air = nonsense.) You’re just silly. Completely full of prunes.
See also: full, of, prune

full of beans

1. Energetic; frisky: The children were too full of beans to sit still.
2. Badly mistaken: Don't believe him; he's full of beans.
See also: bean, full, of
References in periodicals archive ?
You can sweeten something with prunes instead of sugar, it's much healthier" - Rosemary Shrager
WOLFING down fashionable foods like avocados, almonds and acai berries - and reaping their nutritional benefits in the process - may be all the rage, but the humble prune shouldn't be forgotten.
Moreover, despite the high daily doses, prunes were well tolerated.
Following the success of the California Prune and Porter Truffle, launched in Autumn 2013 and the Plum Pudding Dome and the Plum Pudding Brownie which achieved excellent sales as part of the Christmas range, the new Blondie is now on-sale.
If you don't have time to prune, but love roses, consider investing in some ground cover or patio roses which will just need a tidy-up in spring.
Our ideal is still to hand prune so we can select at pruning time the number of vines we want on a vine-by-vine basis.
Tip: Prune regularly to promote the fastest growth.
If you have a really sweet tooth, prunes can satisfy that, while at the same time, they provide a natural source of energy.
Dr Ronald Prior, who led the research said a daily dose of prunes can seriously improve your health.
One person who wasn't surprised at the role prunes have to play in good health was Esther Rollason of the California Prune Board which supplies more than 70 per cent of the world's prunes.
In it, he recalled how much fun he had plugging prunes for one of his clients, the California Prune Advisory Board for over a dozen years.
PRUNES could help you to lose weight by making you feel fuller for longer.
USED traditionally as a gentle laxative, prunes are high in antioxidants and a healthy sweet snack.
The study on rats found a diet rich in the fruit stopped bone mass deterioration, and pointed to the high levels of boron and potassium in prunes.
PRUNES, the age-old relief for constipation, have been hailed the new super fruit with powers to combat cancer, heart disease and ageing.