vain

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take (one's) name in vain

To speak about someone when they are not present, as in a critical manner. The phrase comes from one of the Ten Commandments, which prohibits taking God's name in vain. Hey, I heard that! Don't take my name in vain!
See also: name, take, vain

in vain

1. adjective Without success; futile. I tried to convince the other board members, but my efforts were in vain, and they outvoted me.
2. adverb Without success; futilely. I tried in vain to convince the other board members, and they outvoted me.
See also: vain

in vain

for no purpose; [done] as a failure. They rushed her to the hospital, but they did it in vain. We tried in vain to get her there on time.
See also: vain

*proud as a peacock

 and *vain as a peacock
overly proud; vain. (*Also: as ~.) Mike's been strutting around proud as a peacock since he won that award. I sometimes think Elizabeth must spend all day admiring herself in a mirror. She's as vain as a peacock.
See also: peacock, proud

in vain

To no avail, useless, as in All our work was in vain. [c. 1300] Also see take someone's name in vain.
See also: vain

proud as a peacock

Having a very high opinion of oneself, filled with or showing excessive self-esteem. For example, She strutted about in her new outfit, proud as a peacock. This simile alludes to the male peacock, with its colorful tail that can be expanded like a fan, which has long symbolized vanity and pride. Chaucer used it in The Reeve's Tail: "As any peacock he was proud and gay." [1200s]
See also: peacock, proud

take someone's name in vain

Speak casually or idly of someone, as in There he goes, taking my name in vain again. This idiom originated as a translation from the Latin of the Vulgate Bible (Exodus 20:7), "to take God's name in vain," and for a time was used only to denote blasphemy and profanity. In the early 1700s it began to be used more loosely as well.
See also: name, take, vain

take someone's name in vain

1. If someone takes God's name in vain, they say `God' in an expression that is disrespectful, often when they are swearing. He did his best with us, always gently correcting us when we took the Lord's name in vain.
2. If someone takes another person's name in vain they say their name in a way that is disrespectful. `Somebody taking my name in vain?' Nordhoff called over his shoulder. Note: This is from the second of the Ten Commandments in the Bible: `Thou shalt not take the name of the Lord thy God in vain.' (Exodus 20:7)
See also: name, take, vain

take someone's name in vain

use someone's name in a way that shows a lack of respect.
The third of the biblical Ten Commandments is: ‘Thou shalt not take the name of the Lord thy God in vain’ (Exodus 20:7).
See also: name, take, vain

take somebody’s name in ˈvain

show a lack of respect when using somebody’s name: I get very upset when people take God’s name in vain. ♢ (humorous) Have you been taking my name in vain again?This expression comes from the Bible.
See also: name, take, vain

in ˈvain

without success: They tried in vain to persuade her to go.All our efforts were in vain.
See also: vain

in vain

1. To no avail; without success: Our labor was in vain.
2. In an irreverent or disrespectful manner: took the Lord's name in vain.
See also: vain
References in periodicals archive ?
The vainest building of them all, according to the CTBUH, is the Ukraina Hotel in Moscow.
Jude Law is happy to send himself up as the world's vainest super-spy but labours under an American accent and a script offering him few decent lines.
Tesco spokeswoman Jennifer Jones said: "The huge success of The Only Way Is Essex and its perma-tanned cast has created an impression of those living in the county as being the vainest in the UK.
The vainest Nazi of them all, Luftwaffe chief Hermann Goering, single-handedly stole 2000 works of art for his villa near Berlin.
But when it means working with the Coen brothers - the genius film-making duo behind this year'sOscar-winning triumph No Country for Old Men - even the vainest and best-looking poster boys willingly risk their reputations to play dumb and dumber.
LIZ LAMB poses a few questions to the 19-year-old dubbed the vainest man in Britain.
So, what's the vainest and ugliest part of the North-East?
Boorish Scottish bore Jason, 30, who said:``I'mprobably the vainest person you could meet,'' arrived wearing only a leopards kin thong and a black bow- tie.
The research, from Hammerson shopping centres, found city slickers are the vainest gym-goers, with 68% of Londoners needing to look good when they exercise, compared to just 20% in Wales.
Somehow, I reckon only the saddest and vainest blokes will be doing that.
The dirty dozen were unveiled on Friday night to reveal an explosive mix of personalities including some of the vainest men in Britain, a former asylum-seeker, a wannabe topless model and a sex op virgin.
Linda, who lives with her husband Ken in Wallasey, says: ``I have never been the vainest of people but on my birthday this year I decided to make a difference and started looking after myself.
SAM Barton, Britain's self proclaimed vainest man, has spoken of his ordeal.